In an icy winter season or a cool fall or in spring, we can’t think of our life without a nice hot shower. After passing a busy working day a hot shower takes our tiredness away and gives us a new life. To produce hot water we need the easiest and reliable source that can generate water uninterruptedly. It is an appliance in our home that is equally important in winter and summer. From younger to the older, kitchen to washroom it is useful for everyone and everywhere. You might be wondering to know about different types of water heaters available in the market then this article is for you. This write-up can be a buying guide for you.
What is a hot water heater? A water heater is a machine which provides us ..ok…ok, we understand that you already know it. We can discuss it in a different angle.
When to replace an old water heater?
The longevity of a water heater is 10-20 years. Therefore, it is not a topic that we discuss too often in our life. Have you considered whether your old tankless water heater needs to be replaced or not? We will discuss some situations that will tell you that you may consider replacing your old water heater.
- Insufficient hot water supply is one of the main causes to replace your current water heater. It can happen for two reasons- if the demand of hot water of your family increases or the efficiency of the machine goes out.
- If the supply of hot water becomes dirty or sandy.
- The water is colder than your required temperature and your existing equipment is unable to raise the temperature further.
- You feel any kind of bad smell from the hot water.
- If the color of the output water changes.
- If the TPR valve is not working properly. Although sometimes only the replacement of TPR might be enough.
- If there is any tank leakage issue. Always remember that a leaking tank can’t be repaired.
If you are fully convinced to buy a brand-new hot water heater then you should know about the available options you have. Let’s find out the types of water heater we have in the market.
Main types of water heaters
There are mainly four types of water heater in the market for household-
- On-demand or tankless water heater
- Storage tank water heater
- Hybrid water heater
- Condensing hot water heater
Classification of tankless water heater is done based on the fuel and types of tank used for water storage. Now we will discuss the main features, pros, and cons of each type.
On-demand or Tankless Water Heater
The tankless water heater is the most popular water heater in current time. Everyone is busy and needs everything instantly. Therefore, the demand for tankless water heater increases day by day for instant hot water.
There is no water tank used in this system. The heater heats the water by its extra powerful coils that is called heat exchanger. When you need water, the coils inside the system fills with water and heats the water instantly. This is the reason why people call it an on-demand water heater or instant water heater.
Pros /Advantages of Tankless Water Heater
- More energy-efficient than a storage water heater
- Get instant hot water
- Endless supply of hot water
- Smaller in size
- No tank is used. Therefore, no leakage
- Only heat the amount of water which we use
- Can serve you up to 20 years if maintained properly
Cons/disadvantage of tankless water heater
- Higher price
- Sometimes need expensive renovation of your utility line
- Not getting sufficiently hot water if immediately shut off and turned on
- Generally, not suitable for multiple uses at a time
- Not usually good for a very big family
- It can release carbon monoxide gas if fueled by natural gas
- Need regular flashing
The main problem of a tankless water heater is that it is not fully sufficient for multiple uses at the same time. To solve this problem you can install a high-performance tankless water heater. If your family is big then you can set more than one tankless water heater of smaller capacity to overcome this problem.
Storage tank Water Heater
This type of water heater is the most common and popular one. I don’t want to waste your time writing a long description of it. But for your clear understanding, you have to know different types of storage tank water heater.
- Traditional or conventional tank water heater
- Solar power water heater
Traditional Tank Water Heater
Although storage water heater is considered to be an old-style water heater, it has some significant features that have made it unparalleled. Let’s have a look
Construction and operation
- There are two types of storage water heater available in the market- the electric model and the gas model.
- A storage tank can hold from 30 to 80 gallons of water. The amount of water it holds depends on the size of your storage tank.
- This tank is made of steel and has three layers- a top part, a bottom part, and an outer frame.
- Some of the new version tanks are coated with a ceramic line in its inner wall.
- A tank water heater has three valves- temperature valve T, pressure relief valve P and a drain valve.
- The source of fuel heats the whole tank before the water gets ready for use.
Pros/ Advantage of tank water heater
- Most reasonable in price
- High longevity (almost 12 years)
- Easy to install
- Multiple faucets can be used at a time
- Lower repair cost
Cons/Disadvantage of Tank Water Heater
- Takes large space
- Higher wait time to get hot water
- After finishing a cycle, it takes a long time to be reheated
- Wastage of a big amount of water if there is any leakage problem
- Need more energy than a tankless water heater
Solar power Water Heater
If you don’t live in an arctic region or you are an eco-friendly person, this kind of water heater is for you. For some other emergency reasons, this is the best option for many people. Let’s have a short look at a solar power water heater.
- This type of water heater is also known as a domestic solar hot water system
- There are two types of solar power water systems. One is with an active solar system with a circulating pump and a control device and the other is called passive solar hot water heater system.
- Active solar system can be divided into two types- direct and indirect circulation solar system.
- If your living weather is clement you can use a direct circulation system. For abrupt weather condition, where the temperature is frequently under freezing point, you should use an indirect solar system.
- Passive solar system is divided into two- integral collector system and thermosyphon system.
- Integral collector system is suitable for clement weather condition and the other is suitable for colder condition.
Pros/advantages of solar power water heater system
- Similar benefits like a traditional tank hot water heater system
- Eco friendly
- The most energy efficient
- A great choice to save gas or electricity bills
- Effective on emergency usage
- Suitable for a remote place like a distant island or in a hilly forest
Cons/Disadvantages of solar power water heater system
- Extremely expensive
- Very difficult to install
- Not suitable for every weather condition
- Must need an appropriate energy source
- Needs regular inspection
- Frequent needs to repair and replacement of the parts
Hybrid Water Heater
The hybrid water heater is a combination of tank and tankless water heater. It is the coolest combination of the traditional and modern tankless water heater. It is also known as a heat-pump water heater. The hybrid water heater is a malti-functional appliance. Through your demand, you can operate it in various ways such as energy saver mode, high demand mode and standard electric heating mood.
To produce hot water, a hybrid water heater takes heat from the air and ground. It has a special kind of heating pump which provides you on-demand hot water as like a tankless water heater in energy-saving mood. When you need a heavy demand for the water, you can switch the standard electric heating mood that consumes a lot of energy to fulfill your demand.
Pros/Advantages of Hybrid Water Heater
- Energy efficient
- Various functional
- Can supply on demand water
Cons/Disadvantages of Hybrid Water Heater
- Very expensive
- Needs a large secure space
- Can be installed only in particular weather temperature (40o to 90oF)
Condensing Water Heater System
The unit cost of utility is increasing day by day. In this situation, condensing water heater or condensing boiler can be a great solution for us.
Construction and operation
This type of water heater can use its exhaust gas as a fuel. In an instant water heater system, there is only one heat exchanger. But the condensing water heater system has an extra heat exchanger inside that is called the secondary heat exchanger. The secondary heat exchanger can reuse the flue gas and thus saves some energy. Residential natural gas powered condensing hot water heater is generally used in Europe on a large scale. It’s also popular as a commercial hot water system. A condensing water heater can be of both types- tank or tankless.
Pros/advantages of condensing water heater
- More than 30% energy-efficient
- Too much maintenance is not necessary.
- Can supply a lot of hot water
Cons/disadvantages of condensing water heater
- Needs a very large space
- Only run on natural gas
- mainly suitable for a large family or factory
To take your confusion away, we have tried to explain various types of water heaters. Now it’s up to you to take the right decision. You can also consult with your family members. They can help you to choose the right water heater for you. We will be happy if you ask us any kind of question or doubt in mind if you have any. You can also share your advice and experience with us through the comments. Have a good day!