This article is written to assist you in selecting the water heater that will best suit your particular residential water heating needs. We will discuss various types of hot water systems and provide useful hints for selecting the right model.
Did you know that heating water is the second-biggest source of energy consumption in your home?
This is the main reason to be very careful when deciding on the best water heating solution for you. When purchasing a new water heater, or changing from one heater to another, you should consider several factors:
– Source of fuel (solar, gas, electrical, oil) – Initial price and long-term operating costs – Size (tankless, point of use, storage tank) – Quality – Brand favorites (i.e.; Noritz, Rheem, AO Smith, Rinnai…) – Repair costs and spare part availability – Optional feature availability
Gas-fueled appliances may use either natural, propane, or LP gas. Seek models with a high energy factor; the higher this value is, the better. Their primary benefit is rapid water heating with a cheaper fuel.
Electric water heaters are good picks in cases where gas is not a realistic alternative. Lower initial cost, safety, flexibility, and easier installation and troubleshooting are the main benefits.
Solar-powered American water heaters are very basic and use cost-free, renewable solar energy to produce hot water. These models represent lifelong investments that pay rich dividends in the long term.
Oil-fired heating systems with high combustion temperatures are rapid recovery units that are higher than both electric and gas systems.
Technology and Size Considerations
Tankless water heaters are often called “instantaneous” or “on-demand” systems, as they produce hot water only upon demand. The main benefits are the absence of a cumbersome, space-consuming tank, infinite hot water supply, excellent efficiency, longevity, flexibility, compact size, and high proportion of replaceable elements. Popular manufacturers are Rheem, Noritz, Bosch, Rinnai, Paloma.
Tank-style heating units are the most common type of American water heater. A 50-gallon tank is the most popular size, and may be either gas or electric. Reputable North American manufacturers include AO Smith, Rheem, State, American, Bradford White.
Water Heater Reviews Based on Venting
Direct-vent water heating units have built-in venting systems that draw air into the unit while forcing fumes out without using the electrical blower.
Power vent water heating appliances are similar to direct-vent models, but they use electrically-powered blowers for assistance with mechanically exhausting the combustion gases to the exterior of the device.
Atmospheric heaters use either a vertical or Type B vent, or a brick or double-wall metal chimney. A sufficient supply of air is needed for proper gas combustion. In most cases, this air supply originates from within the house.
Through-the-wall (“TTW”) hot water units use either a blower or a direct-vent system.
Other Water Heater Types
Water heaters of higher efficiency are acknowledged as being EnergyStar appliances, as they offer superior performance, reduced operating costs and environmental pollution, and allow their owners to receive governmental grants. Look for an EF rating equal to or greater than .82.