A water heater ranks as one of the most important systems installed due to the vast number of uses of hot water in a home. Hot water is used for bathing, cleaning, drinking, or brewing; ranking a water heater is an important aspect and an improvement from the past inefficiencies of boiling water in a kettle which was also time-consuming.
When selecting what type of water heater to install in your home, you must consider its efficiency, its lifespan, and its maintenance cost, among others. The article analyses the different types of water heaters, the features to consider when selecting a water heater, and why you may need a change of your water heater.
Different Types of Water Heater
1. Conventional/Tank Water Heater
The system has a large insulated tank that stores water powered by natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, or propane. Once the water is heated, it remains in the insulated tank until used. Since the water is not used, the tank is continuously in use, and it cools to a lower temperature. The insulated tank reheats the water, making it expensive to cater to the energy source as the process could last for over a week.
The system is maintenance-free, with manufacturers advising that routine checks be done and that every six months, the tank be drained to prevent minerals build-up, but the tanks last for up to a decade without upkeep. The system takes close to one hour for reheating purposes which may hinder hot water usage in a large family.
2. Solar-powered Water Heater
The system works through solar plates placed in the sun that hot heat water. The sun-heated water is stored in tanks then flows directly into the house. The system operates at a low cost and does well in warmer climates which is a disadvantage in that there must be a backup system to cater for winter days.
3. Heat pump Water Heater
The system heats water from the heat in the ground or the air after it is pumped through the insulated tank, where the water is heated and stored before it is used. Its fuel type is electricity and geothermal energy making it more efficient and running low. The system is not favorable for cold climate areas as it cannot obtain heat from the ground.
4. Tankless Water Heater
These water heaters do not have a tank but instead have insulated coils that heat water when they get super-hot, producing hot water instantly. They eat large quantities of water instantly, making them an efficient water heater system. They are powered by propane, gas, or electricity, provide instant hot water, and low operating cost. They are, however, costlier to install, and their flow rate is limited as they cannot release huge amounts of hot water.
5. Condensing Water Heater
The heater uses the extra unused gas fumes to heat water in its boiler tank. Their energy source is natural gas that passes through the coil at the tank’s bottom, creating a combustion process that heats the water and loses the gases into the air. The condensing/boiler tank heats the water making the process efficient and cost-effective.
Features to put into consideration when selecting a water heater
1. The energy source
A water heater may use electricity, gas, or solar power as its source of energy to heat water. You must also consider the availability of fuel to ensure that it is easily accessible in your home location.
2. Anti-scaling Devices and Glass-Lining
Water heaters should be fitted with an anti-scaling device to protect against deposits and mineral scales by reducing the deposits at the tank’s bottom. The availability of an anti-scaling device may prolong the lifespan of your tank though it may reduce the lifespan of the heating element. While glass-lining is not a necessity, it protects your water heater’s interior from corrosion, thereby extending its lifespan.
Typically, the capacity a water heater can hold ranges between 40-60 gallons. When selecting a water heater, you must consider the highest amount of water your family unit consumes within a given time frame. The water heater you select must therefore be able to cater to the water usage in your household sufficiently. Where you have a large household, you may require selecting a water heater with a higher capacity and volume.
When buying any system, one factor that you must consider is the availability of a warranty period for your device. The warranty provides coverage where your water heater develops any fault while in use, with the warrant covering the burners and other components involved in the heating process. The warranty period typically ranges between three to twelve years which takes the financial burden of your back in case the water heater is faulty.
Reasons for changing a water heater
1. End of the warranty period
Upon the expiration of your warranty period, your water heater might be outdated, and new designs have emerged that might be more cost-effective. Your old water heater might also be costing you financially, and its efficiency might have dropped.
When your water heater starts experiencing leakage issues, it might be time to repair or time replacement. You will need the services of a professional plumber to fix the malfunction. Try finding a plumber in Elk Grove CA to provide safe and efficient solutions where your water heater has leakage issues.
3. Hot Water shortages
Experiencing hot water shortages may indicate that your consumption is higher than the capacity of your water heater and that you will therefore need an overhaul of the system.
You cannot undermine the important role a water heater plays in a home; this defines the type of water heater system you will install. You must weigh the pros and cons of each heater to select one that will not bring you an extra financial cost with little benefits. It would help to consider whether you want a water heater with a storage tank or a tank-less one and consider all the expenses from its installation to its operation costs.