What to Know about Water Heaters
Before the invention of tankless or hybrid water heaters, storage tanks dominated the market. However, this type of water heater depends largely on the available space in your house and the tank size. A family of five will need a minimum of 80 gallons of water, depending on the fuel source. Some storage heaters are run by electricity, liquid propane (LP), or natural gas. Although the LP and natural gas models are said to be more energy-efficient because it helps you save on electricity bill in the long run, they are sold at a more premium price. You also need to consider the heater’s recovery rate -- that is, the number of gallons it is able to heat in one hour. Big families have a greater demand for hot water, thus they also need a higher recovery rate. Nowadays, features and designs of tankless or on-demand water heaters have improved. They only heat the water that you will use, and this helps you save more on electricity bills. However, since it does not have the large storage capacity of the storage tank heater. It can only provide 3.5 gallons of heated water per minute, enough for singles or couples whose demand for hot water is not as high as the ones with bigger families. On-demand heaters are also available in electric, LP, and natural gas models.
Other types of water heaters include utility water heaters, hybrid electric or heat-pump models, solar water heaters, and condensing gas water heaters. Utility water heaters are mostly used in shops or garages, while the hybrid, solar, and condensing heaters share the same functions but differ in their power source. Condensing boilers are powered by gas or oil, but are less expensive than the hybrid heater, which utilizes the air outside or from inside the room to heat the water. Solar water heating systems use a solar thermal collectors to convert the energy gathered from the sun to renewable energy which is, in turn, used to heat water.
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