Living without hot water would be challenging. It’s essential for house cleaning, doing the dishes, laundry and even helpful in cooking. Who doesn’t love a hot bath or shower? You could heat water on the stove but that would be time-consuming and a hassle. Fortunately, we have the technology to bring hot water right to the tap. It’s called a water heater. There are five basic types. When choosing one for your home, you should know the types and how they work, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
1. Storage Tank Water Heater
This is the most commonly used water heater. It’s very basic but does its job well. You can get one in plumbing supply stores worldwide such as LBR in Norway. The name is self-explanatory. Water is heated and stored in a tank. Once the tank is empty, you are out of hot water until it refills. The tank in the heater should be cleaned twice a year as deposits build up. The advantage of this type of water heater is that they are affordable and easy to install.
2. Solar Powered Water Heater
For those who are conscious of being green, a solar-powered water heater may be just the ticket. It’s better still if you already have solar panels installed at your home. The heater uses the power of the sun, collected through the panels to heat the water. This type of heater also has a tank that should be cleaned twice a year. Solar power saves on electricity, is efficient and friendly to the environment. The downside is the cost of installing panels. It could take a long time before you save enough to cover that bill.
3. Tankless Water Heater
There is also the tankless water heater, which, as the name implies, doesn’t have a tank. It works with coils that fill with water and heat it very quickly. This type of water heater has the advantage of always having hot water available. For that reason, they are also called on-demand heaters. They are an excellent choice for large families who use a lot of hot water. Although they don’t have a tank, they should still be cleaned at least once a year. They are expensive to purchase and install.
4. Condensing Water Heater
If your stove and heating systems use natural gas, the condensing water heater may be the best choice. This type of heater uses the exhaust from the natural gas to heat the water. The water is stored in a tank, which limits the amount of hot water available at one time. They use very little energy and so are efficient and cost-effective. Like other water heaters with a tank, they should be cleaned twice a year. The drawback is that condensing water heaters are usually only available with larger tanks that may be more than a small family needs. They also require natural gas exhaust, so if your home does not use natural gas, you would need to have that installed as well.
5. Hybrid Water Heater
The hybrid water heater is also called a heat pump water heater. It does not require electricity to directly generate heat. It takes heat from the air and ground and transfers it to the water. The transfer of heat does require electricity but it uses much less power than other water heaters. Some hybrid heaters use 60% less electricity. That adds up to significant savings. Once again, the tank should be cleaned twice yearly. It does have its cons, Because it takes heat from the air and ground, it may not heat the water enough in the winter, especially in climates where cold weather lasts for a long time. Some basements tend to be cold most of the time and that could also be a drawback. The hybrid water heater is also one of the most expensive types to buy and install.
Every home needs a water heater. Washing dishes, the house, and yourself would be more difficult without one. Choose one of the five types depending on your family size and hot water needs, the configuration of your home, the climate where you live and of course, on your budget.