Water Heaters 101: All You Need To Know About This Vital Home Appliance
Even though it isn’t the most glamorous appliance in your home, the water heater will likely be one of the most used appliances in your house. That’s why it’s important to understand what these appliances are and how they work. The water heater, whatever its type, plays a very important role in the comfort and usability of your home’s bathrooms and kitchens.
However, many people don’t realize how important they are, how they work, or how to keep them running at peak efficiency throughout their lifetime. In this article on water heaters, we’ll discuss all you need to know about these vital home appliances.
What Does a Water Heater Bring to the Table?
- Warm water when you need it
From washing the dishes to bathing, hot or warm water sure sees quite a bit of use. The Water heater produces hot water, but that’s nothing a kettle and cooking gas or the right electrical appliance can’t replicate just as well. However, what you can’t do with the kettle is produce hot water on demand. That’s the precise need the water heater fills in any household, a need you probably don’t realize you have until you do install one in your home and don’t have to worry about your kettle’s capacity or the time it takes to heat water to a boil.
- Money-saving options
Water haters have various technological options that can make them incredibly energy-efficient and durable. Little things like a thermostat can provide a lot of help in saving energy. From tankless to solar to heat pump systems, there is a wide range of models and types available to choose from depending on your needs and the amount of space you have to install your unit. If you choose well and research your purchase, you can often get a lot of value out of your water heater and save lots in the long run.
- Environmental Friendliness
The best water heaters are those with high efficiency (good energy-use-to-output ratio) since they produce less interior and outdoor air pollution. Because they utilize less energy, these systems emit fewer greenhouse gasses. Water heaters are made using replaceable and recyclable parts.
Depending on the type you purchase, you can decide what temperature you want your water to be at, how much space it will take up—the tankless ones being the most space-efficient—and how much of an impact it will have on your pockets. Technology has made these products compact and efficient in terms of space and energy consumption, making them viable options for households in need of the convenience of reliable hot water.
Types of Water Heaters
By Power Source
In this group, there are electrical and gas-powered water heaters.
Electrical water heaters
You can either use solar energy or power from the utility company to run these water heaters. With the solar option, you have the mouth-watering benefit of never having to worry about bills from the electrical company.
Gas-powered water heaters
With the gas-powered version, you can opt for a model that either uses natural gas heater or propane for fuel. Regardless of your choice, the important thing is that the power source is cheaper than the alternatives, and the heater is powerful enough for your needs.
By mode of operation
Under this group, we have three types of water heaters: heat pumps, storage tanks, and tankless water heaters. They are either gas-powered or electrical.
Heat pump water heaters
Heat pump water heaters use electricity and work like the opposite of the refrigerator. A fan in the unit draws in warm air from the surroundings and circulates it across a number of refrigerant-filled evaporator coils. This slightly warms the refrigerant which is then compressed by the compressor to increase the temperature. This passes through condenser coils that are wrapped around or go inside of a water tank, warms up the water (and in the process gets cool), and then makes its way back to the evaporator coils to begin the cycle all over again with warm ambient air.
Due to their mode of operation, some use only a third of the energy requirement by other heaters. They operate in temperatures between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 32 degrees Celsius), so they should be set up in areas that can maintain this temperature range.
Storage tank water heater
The storage tank model is one that, true to its name, requires the storage of water in a tank to be heated for use throughout the day. Since the water is in a holding tank, it can be a while before it’s hot enough for use. But when it does get heated up, the stored water can retain the heat energy for quite a while after due to insulation in the tank design.
Tankless water heaters
The tankless version has a more upfront cost due to the technology involved, but compared to their tank counterparts, they’re more energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run. Energy.gov estimates as much as 24% to 34% more energy efficiency for households that use 41 or less gallons (185 liters) of hot water daily. The water is heated instantly (a powerful model can heat the water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons — 7 to 15 liters — per minute) as it passes over a heating element in the unit, so it doesn’t require a tank.
In large households with a higher than average demand for hot water, however, the tankless versions will struggle to keep up (especially if multiple sources of hot water are in use at once).
Installing The Water Heater
Now you’ve made a choice as to what kind of water heater will be best for your needs, there is only one way to go about installing it. You need to call the professionals over to take care of it. After all, they’ve been doing this for years, meaning they have the experience necessary to do away with any surprises, minimizing the time spent on installation.
And for such a job, there is no company in Solano County, California or the surrounding counties more qualified to prevent surprises than Precision Air Solutions. Just ask any of our customers.