Water heaters are a necessary appliance for homes if you want to maintain full-functionality and health during the winter cold.
If you think there might be even a slight hint of exaggeration in our statement, then try showering or doing the dishes in the cold with icy cold water. But aside from the obvious, there is another major advantage of water heaters – hot water can stop your pipes from freezing and bursting or a blockage from occurring in your plumbing due to the freezing temperatures.
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Constant use can wear down your water heater, especially if it does not get proper maintenance, which is why you need to replace it after a few years.
When it comes down to getting a new water heater, there are so many options available in the market you can choose from. But instead of getting intimidated by the multitude of choices, it is best to first find out exactly what kind of water heater you want.
Tankless Water Heater (On-Demand Water Heater)
This type of water heater system functions without a tank. The unit has coils that heat the incoming water almost immediately, so you can access warm water on-demand without having to wait.
A tankless hot water heater is best for infrequent users or small families, as it helps them cut down on energy consumption. However, a larger water heater can raise your gas or electricity bills by a lot, although it is ideal for multiple users as hot water is available throughout the day.
Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater
Storage tank water heaters are common in homes. These reliable appliances can run on various fuel types. It has a tank to hold the water that needs to be heated. Therefore, the hot water tank’s size is critical to the functionality and overall efficiency it provides.
The unit typically has superior insulation that keeps the water warm even after the heater has been turned off. It has two valves, one to control temperature and the other to maintain pressure. The temperature valve opens when the water temperature reaches 120°F to release the heat so the temperature can be moderated. The pressure control valve opens to decrease the pressure once it reaches around 150 PSI.
Solar Powered Water Heater
Solar-powered water heaters are ideal for places with a warm and sunny climate so that the solar panels can get sufficient sunlight throughout the year. The energy stored in the solar cells will be transferred to a closed-loop system with a heat-conductive material (antifreeze fluid), which will warm up the water in the tank. However, you still need an alternative energy source, like electricity or gas, if you want your heater to work during the rainy, cloudy, or cold season.
This is an eco-friendly option that can drastically reduce your household’s carbon footprint and boost energy-efficiency by transforming around 80% of the radiation into heat energy.
Although a solar water heater is economical in the long-run, allowing you to save money on utility bills, the unit itself and its installation are costly. It may even take 20 to 30 years to yield a good return on your investment.
On the brighter side, in some countries, governments offer financial incentives to people using solar-powered water heaters, such as federal and state tax credits and utility rebates.
Condensing Water Heater
Condensing water heaters or condensing boilers are suitable for households that run on natural gas for power and require at least 55 gallons of hot water.
This unit has tank-like traditional boilers, so choose a unit with the capacity to meet your needs. There is a coil at the unit’s base, which is heated using the fumes from the condensing system that traps the hot exhaust gas expelled through the flue. Although this is a highly energy-efficient choice, its large size can pose a problem. Also, it can be utterly useless for homes that do not run on natural gas.
There are a few more types of water heaters that you can consider, which we will cover next week. So do not take any decision just yet. Bill’s Plumbing & Sewer Inc. offers expert plumbing services in Morton Grove, IL. Click here to get your free estimate.