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A Homeowner's Guide to the 5 Most Common Types of Water Heaters

Guide to Common Types of Water HeatersHas your old water heater given out completely? Are you thinking of a replacement because it is almost reaching the end of its life? Or, do you need to upgrade your hot water system to meet the increased need for hot water in your household? No matter the reason why you need a hot water system replacement, it’s important to get the right appliance.

Before you start shopping for your next water heater, you should know that not all water heaters are the same. There are many different types of water heaters in the market, and choosing the right one for your Phoenix or Scottsdale home can be confusing. But if you understand the options available to you, making the right decision needn’t be hard.

This guide discusses the 5 most common types of water heaters available to homeowners like you. Regardless of which type of water heater you choose for your home, having a maintenance program for your system is vital. Proper maintenance will ensure you enjoy reliable and efficient service from the system.

1. Conventional Water Heaters

If you’ve been getting your hot water from a storage tank, then you’re probably replacing a conventional water heater. This type of water heater is also known as a storage tank water heater because the heated water is stored in a large tank.

Older models of conventional water heaters are notorious for using too much energy, but newer models are designed to operate more energy-efficiently. If you’re looking to replace your conventional water heater with a newer model of the same type and energy source, expect your new hot water system to consume less energy regardless of whether it runs on electricity or natural gas.

Although conventional water heaters running on natural gas typically cost more to install than their electric alternatives, they cost less to operate. This makes them a more economical option for your home.

All storage tank water heaters require periodic draining and cleaning to remove sediment and also improve the efficiency of the system.

2. Tankless Water Heaters

These hot water systems don’t feature a storage tank. The omission of a tank from the hot water system is perhaps what appeals to homeowners the most.

Tankless water heaters only heat water when the need arises. This explains why they’re also referred to as on-demand water heaters. Supplying water on-demand basis can lead to significant energy savings in your household, and cut energy bills.

Although tankless water heaters operate more efficiently than their conventional counterparts, they’re generally more expensive to install. If you’ll be ditching your storage tank water heater for a tankless model, you should think about the additional expenses of retrofitting your home plumbing and electrical system to accommodate the new hot water system.

Another advantage of tankless water heaters worth mentioning is that they save space. Unlike conventional water heaters, they don’t require space reserved for tank installation.

3. Heat Pump Water Heaters

For homes located in areas with moderate climate, heat pump systems are an energy-efficient way to control indoor temperatures. But are you aware that these space-cooling equipment can also provide hot water?

Like a conventional water heater, a heat pump water heater uses a storage tank to carry hot water. But the operating mechanism of this water heater is much different from that of a conventional water heater.

Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one area of the home to another. The hot water system then absorbs heat from the air and transfers it to the cold water in the storage tank at a higher temperature.

Even though these water heaters are costlier to install than their electric-only counterparts, they’re cheaper to operate over the long term.

4. Condensing Water Heaters

Like conventional and heat pump water heaters, these hot water systems feature a tank. But they rely on combustion gases that are typically expelled from a home via the flue to provide hot water.

There’s a coil located at the bottom part of a heat pump water heater, where cold water enters the storage tank. The coil absorbs the heat carried by the exhaust gases and uses it to heat the cold water.

If you already have a gas-fired furnace or boiler in your home, you should consider installing a condensing water heater in your home. This is because you’ll be able to minimize energy losses that normally results from operation of the heating equipment.

5. Solar Water Heaters

So far, all the above-discussed hot water systems cost money to use. But what if you could get your hot water supply free of monthly energy bills? Solar water heaters eliminate monthly energy expenses because they use solar power. If you’d like to enjoy this benefit, you’ll need to install solar panels in your home.

Solar panels will produce the electricity required to power up your water heater. But they’re usually expensive to install. The good news is that there are solar incentives and rebates you can take advantage of. These incentives can include state and federal tax credits and rebates.

Check out which Arizona solar tax incentives are available for homeowners like you.

Which of These Types of Water Heaters Is Best for Your Home?

Choosing a hot water system replacement is a decision you’ll want to get right the first time. In determining the best water heater for your home, you need to consider the needs of your household, as well as the energy consumption of your hot water system. In this regard, make sure you check the energy rating of your water heater before buying it.

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of water heaters available for homeowners, you should be able to pick the best one for your Arizona home. But if you’re still on the fence about which type of water heater to get, you can always contact us to discuss your hot water needs. We’ll be glad to help you select the best water heater for your home.

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Do you need to replace your broken or under-performing water heater? We specialize in traditional and tankless water heater installation in PhoenixOur trusted professionals work hard to provide you with exceptional service at a fair price.

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About the Author

Chris Hays

Founder of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the founders of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Hays today.