HOT WATER HEATERS
A tankless hot water system
There is a lot of information to absorb when buying a hot water heater. It's a good idea to know the different types of water heaters available before you purchase one.
Conventional storage water heaters
Offer a ready supply of hot water. Can be gas or oil fired. Advantages include minimal maintenance, and water is heated quickly and quietly. Disadvantages are expense of installation, and rising oil, gas and electric prices can make any of these fuel options very expensive.
Demand (tankless) water heaters
Heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Advantages are that it quickly heats hot water and there is unlimited availability. Disadvantages are that the boiler must be running all year, effectiveness diminishes with age and needs to be cleaned out periodically.
Heat pump water heaters
Move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water. Advantages include being twice as efficient as electrical systems, low operating costs. Disadvantages include higher initial costs and potentially higher heating bills.
Solar water heaters
Use the power of the sun to provide hot water. Advantages include energy efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions and government tax credits and rebates help to defray the costs. Disadvantages include high cost of installation and maintenance, dependency on the weather, and require a conventional backup system
Tankless coil and indirect water heaters
Uses your home's heating system to heat water. Advantages include abundant hot water, low cost of operation and minimal maintenance. Disadvantages include reduced hot water availability during the heating season.
When selecting the best type and model of water heater for your home, you also need to consider the following:
Fuel type, availability and cost
The fuel type or energy source you use for water heating will not only affect the water heater's annual operation costs but also its size and energy efficiency.
To provide your household with enough hot water and to maximize efficiency, you need a properly sized water heater.
To maximize your energy and cost savings, you want to know how energy efficient a water heater is before you purchase it.
Before you purchase a water heater, it's also a good idea to estimate its annual operating costs and compare those costs with other less or more energy-efficient models.