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If you’re looking to buy a new water heater for your home and you find yourself a bit lost and confused, you’re not the only one. Most people feel the same and that’s quite understandable given that water heater shopping is not exactly an everyday thing.

To make matters more confusing, there are many different types of water heaters on the market today and it’s easy to get intimidated when making a choice. To help you decide on the best water heater for your home, here’s an insight into five most typical water heaters available today.

Conventional water heater

Water heaterPhoto by Tomwsulcer, from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

One of the most popular and familiar types of water heaters is the conventional kind. It’s also the most affordable and easy to install. It has a tank of certain capacity that holds hot water and since it’s well insulated, the water remains warm until it’s needed. Its two valves, the temperature control, and pressure control valves regulate water temperature and pressure inside the tank.

Although it’s very easy to use, its downside is that you’re limited by its capacity as to how much hot water you can have at one point. If your family’s needs exceed it, you can run out of hot water and be forced to wait for the next tank to be heated before you can have a hot shower.

Another drawback is that you have to clean it on a regular basis if you want to increase its lifespan. Since it stores water constantly, sediment and minerals build up and need to be removed to avoid corrosion. With proper maintenance, it can last up to 12 years.

Tankless water heater

tankless water heaterPhoto by Roger Mommaerts on flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

A more modern option than the conventional water heater is the tankless type that offers almost endless supplies of hot water on demand without any use of a tank. It contains super-heated coils that heat the water instantly. You only need to make sure you get the right size to match your water needs. If you get the one that’s too small, you might end up with lukewarm or even cold water.

Even though you won’t have a tank to clean, these water heaters still need to be cleaned at least once a year to remove mineral scale and prevent corrosion. Typically, they will last between 8 and 10 years. The only downside may be their higher cost and possible upgrade of your gas lines and electrical power capacity.

Condensing water heater

The condensing water heater might be the best option for your home if you use gas as your primary energy source. This type of water heater utilizes unused gas fumes to heat up the water stored in a tank similar to the one in a conventional water heater. Gas fumes from your oven or heater are channeled through a coil at the tank bottom that heats the water and in that process, almost no energy is wasted. With this kind of technology, a modern condensing boiler is more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly than other types.

Hybrid water heater

hybrid water heaterPhoto by Jeff Robbins on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

This is another type that is very energy-efficient as it doesn’t directly generate heat, but it uses heat in the ground and air around to heat the water. Electricity is only used to push the heat from the air and ground to the water. This means it uses up to 60% less electricity than standard water heaters.

It has a heat pump that is situated on the top so it requires a bit of room and it has a tank to store water, which means you’ll need to clean it at least twice a year to ensure its lifespan. Its downsides are that it needs to be situated in warm spaces to be able to utilize heat from the air and ground, and it’s one of the more expensive types of water heaters to purchase.

Solar-powered water heater

solar water heaterPhoto by Tony Woon, from Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

If you already have solar panels mounted on your roof, your best option is surely a solar-powered water heater. The water heater has a tank that is connected to a closed-loop system with heat-conductive material that transfers energy to heat the water in the tank. As it works on solar energy, in case of cloudy days, it requires a backup solution in the form of electricity or gas. It’s super energy-efficient and eco-friendly, but its major drawback is its enormous price.

With the information given here, you can go shopping for your new water heater confident you’ll get the right one for your home.

Read more: A Comprehensive Water Heater Installation Cost Guide

An Insight into Different Types of Water Heaters was last modified: July 10th, 2019 by Lillian Connors
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