Before you acquire a water heating system, you should always consider several factors.
You should first consider the functional design — storage or tankless — of the heater. The functional design determines the total purchase & installation cost, efficiency, maintenance, reliability, and operating costs. Next you should factor in its energy source. Here you have to determine the availability & cost of a specific fuel, sustainability etc before you choose electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, or even solar. Other key considerations include the size or capacity of the water heater as per your home’s hot water needs, energy rating, warranty, and versatility of the heater to ensure ease of installation. Water heaters are must-have installations in a plumbing system and you should always hire a professional Alexandria emergency plumbing services firm to fix the system in case of any faults. Anyway, these are the most commonly used water heaters and you can expect to buy one of these models.
Ranked as the most popular home water heaters in the plumbing industry, conventional storage models heat and store water in an inbuilt reservoir. Expectedly, the stored water loses heat to the surrounding environment and hence some of the energy used for this process is wasted. This inherent loss of heat energy by conventional storage water heaters undermines their efficiency severely. Some models feature extensive insulation fetaures to reduce heat loss during storage. On the positive side, conventional storage models are the cheapest, easiest to install, most reliable, and durable water heaters in the market. Consult your trusted local plumber for advice on whether this is the best route for your situation and use.
As mentioned above, tankless water heaters do not store hot water because they do not have inbuilt tanks. Instead, these models heat water instantly earning them the suggestive names; demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. Tankless models are considered far more efficient than the conventional storage models because they heat water on demand and hence do not lose standby heat energy. And although they incur a short lag time before the burners catch on, they never run out of hot water. Plus they are very small and hence take up a very small space. One disadvantage of tankless water heaters is that they are more expensive than storage models. But if you factor in their relatively low operating costs and do the math, they are more economical. Another problem is that you need to install 2 or more to furnish multiple hot water needs in a typical household.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump models use a reverse refrigeration process to heat water with heat energy from the surrounding environment. They are specially designed systems that use electricity to suck heat energy from the hotter surrounding space, which they then use to heat the water. They are of two different designs; a stand-alone air-source model and a water heating and AC combination system. Compared to conventional storage electric resistance models, Heat pump heaters are 2 to 3 times more energy efficient. Another pro of these heaters is that they are capable of producing as much hot water as is needed. One disadvantage of heat pump water heaters is that they cost more than conventional storage and tankless models but their low operating costs make them a cheaper choice in the long run. Secondly, Heat pumps are only suited to warm weather conditions and environments; they choke AC appliances in cold weather. They also take up lots of space and they require special installation and maintenance, which can be quite expensive.