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What Is the Best Water Heater for Me?
A high-level overview of the main water heater types
For more detail on choosing a specific water heater, try Electric Water Heaters - Choosing The Right One
Water heaters are integral to the day-to-day running of your business or home and are essential for a variety of tasks, everything from washing dishes to taking a bath.
Homeowners make the decision to install a new heater for a variety of different reasons but it's usually because their current device is faulty or on its way out. The decision itself can be much more complex than you may think. This is because there are so many different types of products to choose from and it's obviously important to choose the best heater for your particular needs.
There are also other issues to consider before making a final decision, for example, price, running costs, and energy efficiency.
Fortunately, we are on hand to offer straightforward advice that will allow you to answer the question 'What is the best water heater for me?'
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Storage tank water heaters are the most common type found within homes. They store a large amount of water, usually something in between 20-80 gallons. The water which is stored in the tank is kept at a constant high temperature.
Whilst this may mean that you have continuous access to hot water, this setup isn't the most efficient. You are paying to keep the water hot at all times, whether you are using it or not and this is neither cost-effective nor environmentally friendly.
It should also be pointed out that due to there being a limited amount of hot water in the tank, it is possible to run out and have to wait for more to heat up.
On the upside, storage tank water heaters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install with many opting to put theirs in a cupboard or attic space.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters differ from the majority of other systems in that they heat water on demand, rather than storing it for long periods of time. This means you won't be wasting as much energy, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.
Tankless heaters offer a variety of choices, with different sizes and fuel types available, e.g. gas, electrical and propane varieties.
They also tend to be more reliable than standard tank heaters, guaranteeing a constant supply of hot water. Although small devices are cheaper, standard and larger sizes do tend to be quite pricey which may put some people off.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar power has been gaining popularity in recent years for a variety of reasons, both financial and environmental.
Solar water heaters have many limitations but in the right environment can offer excellent results.
The actual system utilises external solar panels to heat water before it is sent to a standard water tank. If necessary, the water is then heated via conventional means.
Installing a solar-powered water heating system can be particularly expensive. Although the upfront costs are high, these systems have the potential to pay for themselves over time but this usually takes over a decade.
Of course, the major downside to solar power is that you need regular direct sunlight in order for it to work and this won't be an option for many locations.
Overall, installing a solar water heater could be the perfect solution for the right type of person but may not be practical for many others.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump systems utilise a novel approach for heating water. Electricity is used to transport heat from one area to another. Therefore, water can be heated from the energy which is in the surrounding air and ground.
There are many benefits to utilising heat pump systems, for example, they are incredibly energy efficient and therefore environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks to this type of system. Due to the nature of their operation, heat pumps will usually only work in warmer climates and require a large area of free space in order to operate. They are also expensive to purchase and to set up so this needs to factor into your final decision.