When the time comes to select a new water heater for your home or business, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you must select one that will provide ample hot water for all your needs. These days, it is also important your new water heater be energy efficient. It is better for the environment and will save you money.
There are many types of water heaters on the market. So how do you determine which one is right for your home or place of business? We will describe the various types and discuss which is appropriate for your dwelling or office. Different circumstances require different water heater units. Let’s get started.
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What Are The Different Types Of Water Heaters
1. Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater:
This type of tank is the most traditional and popular. It features a tank that holds water to be heated–meaning, the capacity of the tank determines how much hot water at once you have available. The tank is insulated, so when the water heats up, it stays warm until it is needed. Many family homes have conventional storage-tank water heaters, but the amount of water this type of tank can hold is limited.
Because we have hard water here in Utah, mineral deposits can build up in your water heater and lead to the tank rusting from the inside out. A water heater flush is recommended yearly to help remove mineral scale, sediment and help reduce corrosion. A conventional storage-tank water heater is the most affordable of all types of water heaters and is easy to install.
Conventional storage-tank water heaters typically last 8 – 12 years. If maintained well, they may last longer.
2. Tankless Water Heater (On-Demand Water Heater):
A tankless water heater offers nearly endless hot water for your home; instead of a tank, super-heated coils fill with water and heat it quickly, hence the “on-demand” aspect. This type of water heater is perfect for large families. The tankless water heater comes in different sizes, if you are unsure of what size is right for your home, give our friendly plumbing technicians a call. Natural gas-heated homes work well with this type of water heater. However, if you have a large tankless water heater that runs on electricity, you may need to increase the electrical capacity in your home, which could increase costs.
Once a year, it’s good to maintain this type of water heater to remove any mineral scale and avoid corrosion. A maintained tankless water heater can be expected to last for around 20 years. They are quite energy-efficient because they only heat water when needed, instead of having to maintain the temperature of water in a tank.
3. Heat Pump Water Heater (Hybrid Water Heater)
This hybrid water heater doesn’t directly generate heat but is unique because it uses heat in the air and the ground to heat water. This type of water heater can use upwards of 60 percent less electricity than your more traditional water heaters. A vertical clearance of up to eight feet may be necessary for hybrid water heaters since the pump is at the top. Routine maintenance is recommended to avoid early failure.
Heat pump water heaters are also energy efficient, helping to reduce energy costs in the long run. However, if your water heater will be placed in a cold space, such as a basement or in excessively cold climates for long periods, this type of water heater may not work well since it pulls heat from the ground or surrounding air.
4. Solar Powered Water Heater
This water heater draws its energy from the sun, which is excellent if you have solar panels. Because it uses the sun, it’s the most energy-efficient water heater on the market. It counts on roof-mounted solar panels for its energy source. This works great in warm, sunny climates. It does, however, require a backup plan (natural gas or electricity) so it can still run on cloudy days.
Energy.gov suggests that solar water heaters’ “plumbing and other conventional water heating components require the same maintenance as conventional systems.” Environmentally friendly, these heaters are quite energy efficient. However, they are also more expensive than other options and not ideal in cold, cloudy climates.
5. Condensing Water Heater
For a home with natural gas, a condensing water heater may be a great option. It funnels heated exhaust from natural gas, using it to heat the water in a tank. Little energy is used, but because it is a tank-style water heater, you’ll need to get one big enough for your family.
A condensing water heater tank should be cleaned annually. It is a large tank, so it works best for families that need at least a 55-gallon capacity.
What Are Some Pros and Cons of Each Type of Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is famous for nearly unlimited amounts of boiling water. However, it will cost more money for installation, maintenance, and flushes. Instant access to hot water, a far longer lifespan, lower initial and month-to-month costs. Perhaps the biggest reason is it saves on space. If there is a downside, it has to be the cost. However, that is offset by the money you will save on your electric bill.
The most common type of water tank you shall find in a home or workplace is the storage tank. Most of them hold between 30 to 50 gallons of water and are more than efficient for having enough boiling water. Tank water heaters are less expensive, particularly if you choose a smaller size. The disadvantage is, it may run out of hot water at the most inopportune times.
For conservation reasons, tankless water heaters are quite popular. We consider it a luxury to own a tankless. This also applies to the costs of owning one of these.
Boilers and radiant heat models are especially good if you use running water outside of occurrences that are typical. Examples would be heating your floors or running boiling water on something you don’t want to end up frozen. This could include areas of the home or office that are prone to snow and ice build-ups.
Do Utah Residents Need to Choose Water Heaters Differently?
Recapping the question, Utah residents and business owners want to know if they need to use different criteria in selecting a water heater? The answer to this question really applies to anybody in a colder climate such as the northern United States or Canada. During the colder seasons, many people in these places choose to run boilers and heat radiant machines to keep floors, bathrooms, or driveways warmer. The idea is to keep them from freezing over or to keep people warmer when using their bathrooms.
Water heating authorities suggest large tank or boiler water heaters if you have space. That last part is important. If you do not have the space for a larger unit, then what? It depends upon other selection criteria such as the size of the building, all the instances they will use it, and whether you choose to be energy efficient. Therefore, in a nutshell, yes, people in Utah or other colder climates do need different selection criteria for water heaters.
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What Are Some Selection Factors to Keep in Mind?
As we mentioned, if conservation is important to you, choosing a water heater that is energy efficient is a key element. The amount of usage it will receive is another. Do you have a large family? Do you have a business where running hot water is a frequent occurrence? Are there other reasons you use heated water a lot? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need a unit that can provide enough hot water. At Black Diamond Experts, we have the knowledge and experience to advise you of exactly the brand and model of water heater you need.
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What Are The Best Small Water Heaters For Smaller Spaces?
If you do need a unit for a smaller space, you need not sacrifice quality. A small water heater is every bit as good as its larger counterpart. Such a unit can fit into a recreational vehicle or a boat. Mobile pet groomers or food cart vendors can even use it. Or if your home has a bathroom that is not heavily used and is located far from the main water heater, you may want a compact unit for it. Buy the appropriate unit and you shall have all the boiling water you need. So what types are suitable for this purpose? As you will be able to summarize, any brand of mini-tank water heater will be more than capable of getting the job done for you. A brief list is:
- EcoSmart Mini-Tank Water Heater
- Reliance Compact Water Heater
- Stiebel Eltron Mini-Tank Water Heater
- Atmor Instant Water Heater
- Bosch Tronic Mini-Tank Water Heater
Although it may be tempting, we strongly urge you NOT to attempt to install a water heater yourself. There are many tricky procedures along the way. If you are not familiar with water heaters, its fuel type, and the dangers of working with it- you should not risk the installation without a professional. For more information, please feel free to contact us.
Do Not Forget Routine Maintenance
If you want your water heater to have a longer life, regular maintenance is critical. Things like flushes, inspections, and any other routine procedures are so important. Service businesses such as ours can put you on a schedule so you will know when to call us for what procedures. Annual tune-ups and cleaning steps are second nature to us and, in the long run, it saves you money.
Who Should You Call?
When it comes to choosing a hot water heater, there are many skilled facilities that handle water heater installation, consultations, and repair jobs. One is bound to be in your area. If you are in Utah, we are your Experts. Not only can we handle your water heater but also any plumbing, heating, and air, or electrical issues. If you would love to save money on all these services, you may enroll in our Diamond Service Plan. That encompasses all services on this list, including water heater installation, maintenance, and flushes. For your safety, savings, and absolute peace of mind, take advantage of the Black Diamond Experts. Call us today at (385) 446-1019 !