There are many types of water heaters you can choose for your home. Each has a unique design and operates differently, from the fuel type to the water storage method. There are advantages and disadvantages for each. Below are some common types. Read these carefully before choosing with water heater installation to request from your local contractor.
Also known as on-demand water heaters or instantaneous water heaters differ from the traditional water heaters found in homes. Instead of having a reservoir of hot water that is readily available and then replenished as it is depleted, tankless water heaters employ the use of high powered gas burners to heat up water super quickly as it is pulled from the heater. This means that the water is only heated when you actually turn on your shower or your washing machine.
This method is much more energy efficient as you are never heating water that isn't being used. However, these units tend to have a much smaller amount of water that can be pulled at once than their tank counterparts. They also have a higher up-front cost which will offset the energy savings in the short term.
Gas water heaters are typically run off natural gas and occasionally propane tanks are available as well. These are the most common types of water heaters, offering a quick recovery time (time it takes for a depleted hot water supply to be replaced), low monthly operating costs, and high hot water delivery output.
Electric water heaters are generally the cheapest version in terms of upfront cost. They generally require less and repairs than other unit types. However, as a monthly cost these are actually more expensive than gas and tankless water heaters. Additionally they may require some additional wiring than most garages are already set up for.
Solar water heaters are an amazingly clean and cheap water heater. The monthly costs of operation of a solar water heater is a fraction of every other water heater type. There are also numerous rebates for using solar powered appliances in your home. The obvious drawback is reliability of solar energy to heat your water. If you live in unfavorable weather conditions this can greatly affect your ability to install a solar water heater.
Below is a table that illustrates the costs and specs for the three main types of hot water heaters (excluding solar water heaters):
|Hot Water Heater Type||Monthly Cost Range||Hot Water Output||Recovery Time|
|Tankless Water Heater||$11-$13||Continuous||None Required|
|Gas Water Heater||$15-$20||~ 100 Gallons||~ 25 Minutes|
|Electric Water Heater||$25-$30||~ 65 Gallons||~ 1 Hour|
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