Benefits of the Different Types of Water Heaters

December 21, 2022

Sooner or later you’ll have to replace your water heater. Its failure may seem quite sudden. We don’t interact much with our water heaters until either the temperature needs adjustment or something goes wrong. When it’s time for a new water heater, the one you choose will have long-term impacts; after all, heating water accounts for 20% of energy use in the average home.1

When you need a new water heater, there are several types to choose from, each with its own benefits. The differences range from fuel source to efficiency to size and installation costs. To help you decide, here’s an overview of the three types of water heaters Service Champions installs, plus a couple of other options on the market:

Storage Tank Water Heaters

The conventional type of water heater can store between 30 and 80 gallons of water in an insulated tank, depending on the model. Cold water is pumped into the bottom of the tank, while a pipe connected to the top delivers hot water throughout your home. Tank water heaters can be powered by natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity.

A storage tank water heater runs continuously but maintains its efficiency in all climates. Other benefits include: 

  • Support for simultaneous activities (laundry, bathing, washing dishes, etc.) thanks to a high flow rate. 

  • Widespread availability and ease of installation, meaning installation costs are generally reasonable. 

  • Affordable repair costs and ease of maintenance due to a simple design.

Tankless Water Heaters

Powered by electricity or gas, on-demand water heaters can provide two to five gallons per minute of reliable hot water. The unit only runs when a hot water tap or water-using appliance turns on. While more costly than conventional models, a tankless water heater has many benefits, such as:

  • No standby heat loss, which can be an issue with stagnant preheated water in a tank.

  • Small size, allowing the tankless unit to fit in a closet or laundry room.

  • A lifespan of 20 years or more, compared to a conventional unit that lasts 10 to 15 years.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

If you have a heat pump to heat or cool your home, it can heat water as well. A hybrid water heater can work in one of two ways. It can be combined with a heating and cooling system or be a standalone hot water system. Using heat from the air or the ground, a hybrid water heater (which combines a tank and pump) is beneficial because it:

  • Uses little fuel to heat water, so is energy efficient.

  • Is more environmentally friendly than other types of water heaters.

  • Doesn’t present safety hazards associated with heated, pressurized water.

Solar Water Heaters

A solar water heater draws power from the sun. It may be installed on a roof or in a yard. An active system uses a pump to circulate water directly through solar collectors into a tank or circulate antifreeze through the collectors and a heat exchanger. 

Passive heating systems don’t use mechanics. Instead, in-tank solar collectors heat water, which gravity brings into the home plumbing system. In a thermosyphon system, water is heated from below by solar collectors. The heated water then rises into the plumbing system.

Solar water heaters:

  • Use no electricity or gas, making them the most cost-effective option.

  • Require little maintenance except for an inspection every few years.

  • Produce no emissions so are environmentally friendly.

Combination Boiler

The unit combines a water-heating system and a central heating boiler. Usually relatively small, it can be used in a compact apartment or condominium that requires low to moderate amounts of hot water. The benefits of this system include:

  • Suitability for climates where year-round heating is required.

  • Less costly than installing a separate water heater and boiler.

  • Low operating costs compared to other water heater models.

Contact Service Champions for Water Heater Installation

Our team is experienced in installing conventional, tankless, and heat pump water heaters in Northern California. In addition, our licensed technicians specialize in water heater repair and maintenance. We provide a comprehensive water heater replacement service that includes removing your old unit, obtaining city permits, installing supply lines and safety features, adjusting water pressure, and calibrating the system. To schedule water heater installation, make your appointment online or call 833-600-0991 today.

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