If you own a home, at some point in the future you will have to replace your water heater. Many homeowners still have conventional storage or tank-type water heaters. These are comparatively inexpensive to purchase and install, but are not the most energy-efficient. Fortunately, advancing technology has resulted in several more energy-efficient options to choose from when it comes time for a water heater replacement.
Tankless Water Heaters
The purchase and installation cost of this type of heater is high, but it does have a long lifespan of 20+ years and is 8 to 34% more efficient than a tank water heater. With this type of heater, which doesn’t have a storage tank and heats water only when it is needed, you can have an endless supply of hot water. There is a drawback, however. Tankless heaters have a limited flow rate of 4-5 gallons per minute, which may not work for you if you frequently operate the washing machine and dishwasher at the same time, or run several showers simultaneously.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
If you want an energy-efficient water heater, a heat pump water heater is a great choice. It uses electricity to move heat from place to place instead of producing it directly, which is 2-3 times more energy efficient than a storage tank heater. It does exhaust cool air, so you will want to install it in a warm room or exhaust it to the outdoors. Heat pump heaters perform very efficiently in warmer climates, but do not operate well in cool spaces. This heater’s life expectancy of 10-15 years is the lowest of the three options.
Solar Water Heaters
The upfront cost for the purchase and installation of a solar water heater is not insignificant, but luckily today’s units are much more affordable and reliable that earlier models. They tend to last about 20 years, and are 50% more efficient than standard electric or gas water heaters. Solar water heating works in two different ways. With direct circulation systems, which work well in climates where it doesn’t freeze often, water is taken from collectors and circulated directly into the house. Indirect circulation systems, on the other hand, are best for climates where temperatures often dip below freezing. It uses a pump to move a non-freezing heat-transfer liquid through collectors into a heat exchanger, which then heats the water that runs into the home.
Deciding which kind of water heater to use is just one of many decisions to be made if you’re purchasing a new home or updating your current one. If you have other areas that need improvement, such as your kitchen or bath, you can find an excellent selection of stone and tile products in a variety of styles and colors at AAA Hellenic Marble & Tile. Contact us today at 610-344-7700 for a free estimate, or stop by our showroom to see these wonderful products firsthand.