For providing a continuous supply of hot water at home for uses like bathing, cooking etc., we need to install a water heater. Whether it is for a newly built home of yours or to replace your old heater, you must consider a few factors before fixing on the right type of heater for you. There are many different water heaters on the market, and each one functions differently. Apart from types, there are also many different sizes to choose from as well. Choosing a hot water heater depends on the size you need for your home as well as how the water will be heated.
The conventional type of water heater uses electricity or gas to heat the water. As long as there is electricity, or gas to fuel the pilot light, and water flowing into the tank, there is almost always going to be a ready-to-use supply of hot water. Hot water heaters release the hot water on demand, and cool water flows into the tank to be heated by electrical or gas means.
Instantaneous or on-demand hot water heaters do not have a holding tank for hot water. As hot water is needed, water will flow between two heating elements to heat, usually placed in relatively close proximity to the area where the water will be flowing from, and you'll get the hot water only as long as you have the hot water tap turned on. This type of heater is usually best suited for households where there will be a fairly low demand for hot water and usually only when there is not a simultaneous demand from multiple locations.
Heat pump water heaters can serve a dual purpose by heating and cooling the home while providing hot water. Heat pumps work much like refrigerators, but only the opposite way around. Instead of pushing heat out, they pull heat in and amplify the heat to heat the water. This hot water can now be used for household purposes and to heat the home, usually in a very energy efficient way.
Solar water heaters gather energy from the planet's most abundant energy source, and combine this with a backup to keep water hot in a tank for use. This hot water is piped from the holding tank to the areas of the house on demand. Solar water heaters work most efficiently in places that receive a lot of sun, saving a lot of energy and the backup heating system need to be used only very little.
Tank less water heating systems heat the water as and when needed. Indirect water heating systems are a bit more efficient, and can be powered through electrical, solar energy or gas, to keep water hot. These systems can often be used to heat the living space and floors of the home as well.
Choosing a water heater depends on your budget, the heating requirement, energy efficiency and longevity of the model, the size required for your home and the fuel of your preference. To choose the right heater for your needs, it is recommended that you take the advice of a good plumbing company or a licensed professional.