TYPES OF WATER HEATERS- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

By: Patricia Cermignano

After heating and cooling, water heating is typically the largest energy source in the home due to how interconnected it is to many domestic activities. According to the US Energy Department, the average household uses nearly 64 gallons of water each day, which costs a household roughly $400-$600 per year. When purchasing water heaters, it is important to know about the various types of water heaters on the market: Storage, Tankless, Heat Pump, Solar and Tankless Coil & Indirect.

 

What's the Difference?

Storage

  • Type of Fuel: Propane, Natural Gas, Electricity, Fuel Oil
  • Cost: $
  • Average Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Strengths: Low cost
  • Weaknesses: Energy can be easily wasted to keep the water in the tank heated

Tankless

  • Type of Fuel: Propane, Natural Gas, Electricity
  • Cost: $$
  • Average Life Expectancy: 20+ years
  • Strengths: Provides a constant supply of hot water, 8-34% more energy efficient than a storage water heater, could save money
  • Weaknesses: Limited flow rate of hot water means that various uses of hot water at the same time may push your system to its limit

Heat Pump

  • Type of Fuel: Electricity, Geothermal Energy, Natural Gas
  • Cost: $$
  • Average Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Strengths: 2-3 times more energy efficient than a storage water heater, lower operating costs
  • Weaknesses: Exhaust cold air, performance is dependent on where the system is installed

Solar

  • Type of Fuel: Solar Energy
  • Cost: $$$
  • Average Life Expectancy: 20 years
  • Strengths: 50% more efficient than gas or electric water heaters
  • Weaknesses: For overcast days or in times of high demand, a back-up system may be needed

Tankless Coil & Indirect

  • Type of Fuel: Fuel Oil, Propane, Natural Gas, Electricity
  • Cost: $$
  • Average Life Expectancy: 10-11 years
  • Strengths: Lower installation and maintenance costs
  • Weaknesses: Inefficiency choice for more homes

(Source: https://energy.gov/articles/new-infographic-and-projects-keep-your-energy-bills-out-hot-water)

 

In addition to being aware of the differences between the various types of water heaters on the market, it is important to consider other elements of the system, such as energy efficiency, cost, size, best practices to reduce your utility bills and standard maintenance requirements. It is worth noting that there are federal and local tax credits and rebates available by purchasing select types of water heaters.

If you are looking for additional details on water heaters or are interested in seeing what types of water heaters our company services and installs, please call our office at 610-642-6323 or visit our website.