Wrapping up our buying guide on water heaters, today we will discuss the types of water heaters and how they operate and what may work best for you.
There are 5 TYPES of water heaters:
- Storage Tank
- Hybrid Electric
- Condensing Gas
Gas water heaters claim to be more efficient than electric, tankless provides instant & endless hot water, hybrids capture heat from the home and utilize that in addition to fuel, solar uses the sun but costs are almost as high as the sun, and the condensing gas heaters are suggested for more hot water consuming homes. Here’s how they break down:
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: the most common and least expensive of all types, this unit is cold water fed at the bottom of the unit by an inlet pipe that protrudes into the storage tank, water is heated by the elements and exits at the top. These are available in both electric and gas models. In most cases the gas will outperform the electric, but in a home without gas, electric is the way to go.
- Tankless Water Heaters: On-Demand hot water that NEVER ENDS! That’s the big sale of the tankless types, people have been frustrated enough with lukewarm or even cold showers and are tired of watching the water run to get hot. Tankless water heaters heat only the water that enters the unit as it passing through a heat exchanger. The obvious downfall is the price, tankless units are measurably higher than their storage tank counterparts.
- Hybrid Electric Water Heaters: this unit collects the warm air from the room and pair it with an electric storage heater to work in unison and heat the water. Great for people concerned about their “footprint” and the cost is only slightly higher that the fully electric types. The number 1 downside is the physical size of the unit, it needs 7 feet of clearance from floor to ceiling and up 1000 cubic feet of air space to collect the warm air from. Also noisier than other models and can consume the warm air in a home during the winter months.
- Solar Water Heaters: a roof mounted solar collector absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to a closed-loop system filled with an anti-freeze type solution that feeds the water tank. It’s a complicated and expensive system to install and exposes it’s detriments on cloudy and winter days. This is an option for the homeowner already invested in solar power or building a new home utilizing solar energy. Very few consider solar for a replacement water heater, but it has happened.
- Condensing Gas Water Heaters: the “Unknown Water Heater” except by those of us in the industry. This is the recommended water heater for large or multi-family homes with an expanded need for hot water. Water vapor condenses at 140 degrees F, condensing gas water heaters capture much of the heat and utilize it to heat the water. Larger homes with numerous members or multi-family units taking lots of showers, dishwasher time and laundry are good candidates for the larger capacity condensing gas heaters.
Regardless of what type water heater you currently have or are considering buying, talk to a professional at Hughes Supply Statesville. We are happy to discuss all the models and ensure you get what you need and what will serve your family best.