Water heating systems are some of the most important devices in any home. Hot water is needed and used for various activities like cooking, washing, bathing, cleaning etc. Whether you need it for newly constructed homes or your current heating system needs a replacement, it is an essential device to have especially during the extremely cold months of winter. You may read about how important it is here.
There are different types of heating systems. The most common of these are:
The Conventional Tank Water Heater
This is perhaps the most common heating system. It features an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it is needed. The capacity of the tank determines how much hot water is available to you when you need it. When it is used up, you need to wait for it to heat up again before it can be used. The more the capacity, the more the amount of hot water available and vice versa. This tank is divide into two; the temperature control valve which opens to let heat out when the temperature reaches over 120o Fahrenheit and the pressure control valve that opens so the pressure can be lowered when it has reached up to about 150 psi.
Conventional heaters are typically affordable and easy to use. They may either be gas or electricity powered. While gas powered ones use less energy and are less expensive, electric ones are more efficient. This type of heating system also require regular maintenance and based on this can last up to between 10- 12 years.
Tankless Water Heater
This type of heater, as the name implies, does not use or have a storage tank. Using super-heated water-filled coils, they heat water on demand and in a fast way at that which makes them highly energy efficient. They also come in different sizes and can be placed virtually anywhere in the home. Another advantage to this type is that no matter the size of your household, you will get hot water each time you need it as long as the device is switched on and working.
The only disadvantage to this type is the upfront cost but you will make up for it by the fact that it is energy efficient and can last a long time before you need to replace it. Also, it requires low maintenance. Tankless heating systems may be powered by gas or electricity. You can read more about them here https://home.howstuffworks.com/tankless-water-heater1.htm.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
These are also referred to as hybrid electric water heaters and they come with a tank. They work by capturing heat from the ground or air and then transferring it to the water. They are also energy efficient as the only time they require electricity is when they move heat from the air or ground to the water. They can use about 60% less electricity than other electric heaters.
This type of heater has its pump on top of the unit so you need some vertical space or clearance to accommodate it. Installing them cost more up front than other standard models but their ability to use less electricity makes up for that. Just like conventional heaters, they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to make them last long. They do not work well in cold spaces like basements and cold climates.
Solar Powered Heaters
Just as the name implies, these heaters work using energy drawn from the sun. Roof mounted solar panels absorb and store solar energy. This energy is then transferred to a fluid that looks like an anti-freeze in a closed-loop system that contains a heating material which heats the water. They are highly energy efficient and can save you a lot of money especially during summer, especially for people living in sunny climates. You can check out this article for their benefits.
These type of heater requires a backup plan in form of electricity or natural gas for days or periods when there is no sun. One of its advantages asides lowering your energy bills is that they are environmentally friendly. Acquiring it will cost you some money as they are expensive and may take a while before you get a return on your investment. As it comes with a tank, you also should consider cleaning and maintaining it regularly.
Condensing Water Heaters
These also come with tanks and they are dependent on exhaust gas from your home flue to work. This is a good option for households where natural gas is their primary source of energy. The gases blown through a coil located at the base of the tank is used to heat the water. This makes it energy efficient as very little energy is used. You will need to buy a size based on the capacity of your home although they usually come in large sizes which make them best for large families. Because they run in houses using natural gas, they may not be suitable for homes using other forms of energy. It also needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained as it comes with a tank.
Installing or Replacing Your Water Heater
As a homeowner, you are either installing a new device or replacing an old or malfunctioning one. Whatever you are doing, be sure to contract an original hot water system supplier. A heater is not a device you buy often since it is a huge investment. It may even require that you do some renovation on your home, especially if you are replacing an older model with a newer one. This is why you need professionals and expert contractors to help you handle the installation. They will advise you on the best model that will fit your home and work best for you.
If you are looking to install or replace your heater, here are some of the things to consider before doing so
Capacity: Consider the size of your family.
Source of energy: What energy source do you have or will you need to install.
Warranty: Though this can impact the cost, if you have one that is long enough, you may be able to get a replacement or have it fixed without having to pay a lot of money if it gets damaged.
Drain Valves: Are they plastic or brass? Plastics are less reactive but brass is more durable.
Anti-scale Devices: If your device has anti-scale, it makes maintenance easier and will have less mineral build up.
Digital display: Modern devices are equipped with this which makes it convenient so you can easily adjust the settings to your personal needs.
In conclusion, choose the supplier you want to get your device from very carefully. While you want the best quality of service, you also do not want to have to wait ages to have your new order delivered. Thankfully, there are companies that will offer you both quality service and same day delivery, installation or replacement.