Shopper's Guide for Hot Water Heaters
I remember as a kid, seeing that big white thing in the basement
and wondering what it was. Then my parents told me it
was a hot water heater, and I thought okay but how does
it work? Do we come down here when we want hot chocolate
and get water out of it? So in case you're wondering,
your hot water takes a portion of your the water coming into
your house, and heats it using a heating element inside, to
a temperature pre-set by you (between 120 and 180 degrees
Fahrenheit). It then pushes the water out through the pipe
to your sinks, shower, etc.
problem with some water heaters is that the water can sometimes
cause rusting, and hence leaks. As a result, you'll
see the dreaded puddle of water on the floor in the basement
or garage, and realize you have a problem. The bigger
problem is that a bad water heater probably means you're
going to have to replace it. Before you spend that money,
though, make sure that the water heater is actually the
source of that excess water on the floor.
figure this out, first conduct an inspection of the hot
water heater, See if you can find any spot that looks
rusted. If not, you probably have a leak somewhere
else. But if there is clear rusting, it's time to shop for
a new water heater. Even now, though, don't jump into
the process blindly. You need to do some research
into the matter. Hot water heaters have evolved since
the last time many people have went shopping for one.
There are now varieties and choices including solar, tankless
coil, indirect, demand, conventional-storage and heat-pump
versions. There are, in fact, some water heaters that
you can directly connect to your house's space-heating system.
you choose the conventional heater, there is another choice:
a choice of fuels. You can select oil, natural gas,
propane, or electricity. You can also choose how big
of a heater you want: anything from a 20-gallon to
80-gallon version (There are a few others, too, but they're
not as common or popular). Whichever one you get,
if yo buy a newer model, it's likely to be an energy-saving
version, since energy-saving features have been all the
rage on hot water heaters in recent years. This will mean
a savings to you when you operate the appliance.
advantage of a demand water heater is that it eliminates
standby heat-loss, even as it lowers energy consumption
25 to 30 percent. There's no storage tank on the demand
heater, because cold water goes straight through a pipe
inside of it, and then an electric or gas burner heats it
as it's pumped out. For this reason, you never run
out of heated water. The disadvantage of the demand heater
is that, because the water is heated as it's pumped, the
water flow tends to be lower.
tankless coil heater doesn't have a separate tank; water
heats right in the boiler. It tends to be more efficient
in colder months, but less efficient in hotter months.
And finally, an indirect water heater needs a storage tank
and runs much like a tankless coil does; water passes straight
through its heat exchanger found within the boiler. The
main difference is that the hot water then goes to a well-insulated
storage tank. Because the boiler doesn't operate as
frequently, this generally offers better year-round efficiency
than the tankless coil does.
salesman at the appliance store can help you better understand
which model is for you.