Whether tank or tank-less, a water heater can have an instant impact on your house’s cost and comfort. If you wish to buy or replace an existing water heater, the size, type, and efficiency of a unit you select will be important to consider. Heating is the number two largest single consumer of energy in homes. While it’s good to take a soothing bath, take your time when choosing the various options available.
Types of hot water heaters
This is the most common instant water heater unit used in homes. The water is heated in a storage tank using natural gas, coal, oil or electricity. This happens when a faucet is turned on to heat the water in the tank.
Tank-less water heater
This is also called demand or instant water heater. Water is instantly heated by electricity or gas when it flows through the gadget without the need for a storage tank.
Water in a tank passes through a solar collector where the sun heats it. If it does not reach the required temperature, a conventional shower water heater is used to further heat water to the desired temperature.
They use electric power to circulate heat from one to another. They can be used for instant water heating alone or combined with other air conditioning units in your home.
Tips on choosing a hot water heater
The right water heater for your home will be determined by the price and installation of the system among other factors like Energy Factor ratings, available energy sources and state regulations.
The Energy Factor rating is a US department of energy regulation that compares the efficiency of different products. The higher the Energy Factor rating, the more efficient the water heater. This factor takes into account:
- Recovery Efficiency, which measures how efficient is the heat applied to the water.
- Standby Loss that measures the amount of heat lost each hour when applied to the water.
- Cycling Loss that establishes the heat loss as water passes through the system.
- Always choose an instant water heater with an appropriate first-hour rating by establishing your house energy consumption.
- Try to reduce the length of piping runs to your room whether kitchen or bathroom.
To know how long it would take to return your investment back, divide the extra cost of the energy efficient unit by your annual savings in energy. You will get the number of years it will take the water heater unit to pay for itself. Added cost/annual saved energy equals years to payback. It’s also advisable to work with a plumber or an expert when buying a new instant water heater.