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The cold season is approaching again. You surely don’t want to have nasty surprises, like cold showers during the winter or no hot water on the taps. So, if you’ve checked your water heating system and realized it needs replacement, or if you wish to install one in your new home, you better know what you’re doing. Water heaters can be costly, and if you don’t know what you’re buying, inefficient. How to choose, then?
Water heaters can be expensive but are supposed to last long. Durability varies according to the system, but water heaters are expected to last at least ten years. So, you make the wrong choice; you can end up stuck with an expensive and ineffective system for ages. That’s why it’s so important to plan this purchase carefully.
Consider the specifics of the appliance you wish to purchase and make sure they meet your needs. Check capacity, type full, energy consumption, durability. Check below for a brief explanation of the different kinds of water heaters available.
Tanked, or storage systems, are among the most common and cheapest options. If you already have a tanked system in place, but your bathroom isn’t well served with hot water, consider installing a small tank for it. If you identify any problem with your system, reach for professionals for tanked water heater repair immediately.
Also called a demand-type heater, this system doesn’t need tanks, as the name suggests. Instead, water is heated in the pipe when a faucet, tap, or shower is opened. They take much less space and also last longer. While tanks last up to 12 years, tankless heaters can stay efficient for about 20 years. Understandably, it’s a more expensive option.
Heat pumps use hot air from the surroundings to heat the water, resulting in significant energy savings. This kind of system can provide up to 1,000 cubic feet of hot water. It can also improve the efficiency of a conventional heater.
Solar heaters are the best way to slash the costs of heating in the long run. This completely independent system works with a solar panel and a storage tank. There are two types of solar heaters. The active system applies controls and pumps, while the passive is less expensive but also less effective.
Utility System (or Point of Use)
This option is a smaller version of the storage heaters, between 2.5 and 19 gallons. For this reason, it’s perfect for motorhomes or secondary bathrooms.
Every home is different, and every wallet is different, too. Now that you know what kind of systems there are in the market, it’s time to consider which one is best for you. Of course, the final answer will be a matter of personal taste. Yet, there are a few things everyone should consider before choosing a water heating appliance.
- Type of Fuel: choose between electricity, gas, or solar. Gas appliances tend to be cheaper, and gas is cheaper than electricity in most places too.
- Capacity vs. Family Size: see if your system can provide for everyone in the house. For a family of three, 30 gallons is the recommended capacity.
- Space: does your home have space for a tank?
- Maintenance: budget in maintenance costs. Maintenance should be done at least once a year, but prices may vary depending on the kind of system.
Now, you have enough information to decide upon your next water heating system. For specific cases, like bathrooms, consider small and local solutions, like the point of use, or a tankless system, if the place lacks space.