A reliable water heater is essential for everyday tasks like using your dishwasher, taking a hot shower, and running your washing machine. When you’re choosing a new water heater for your Charles Town, West Virginia, home, look for a model that can help you save energy and water. These high-efficiency models often come with an Energy Star rating. Leave the installation to a professional, but you can decide on the type of water heater that you need, be it conventional storage, tankless, solar, or condensing.
Conventional Storage Water Heaters
This most common type of water heater has an insulated storage tank that holds between 30 and 80 gallons of heated water. It’s powered by natural gas, liquid propane, oil, or electricity, depending on the type of fuel your home uses. Inside the tank, a gauge reads the temperature of the water, and when it drops below a preset level, the unit kicks on to bring the water temperature back up.
The heating keeps going 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when you’re sleeping or away on vacation. The downside is that you’ll pay for hot water that isn’t used. However, hot water will always be waiting for you and ready when you need it. Conventional storage water heaters come in several sizes. A small tank is better for the modest needs of someone single, while a larger tank is better for a bigger family. However, you can save money by setting your water temperature at a lower level. It also keeps small children from being burned.
Condensing Natural Gas Water Heaters
A condensing natural gas water heater has a tank like a conventional storage water heater, and it captures exhaust gases that normally escape through the flue and waste energy. These gases go through a coil in the base of the water heater, and the incoming cold water absorbs most of their heat. Condensing water heaters work quickly, so they’re best when you need a unit that can hold more than 55 gallons. A condensing water heater needs the same maintenance as a conventional storage water heater.
Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters
This type of water heater works to intensify the heat it draws from the air, and it transfers that heat to the water contained in its storage tank. Since it works with the environment, an electric heat pump water heater works best in hot climates, where the technology can be up to three times more efficient than a traditionally designed unit. Maintenance is the same as with a conventional storage water heater, but you should also change the air filters regularly.
Solar Water Heaters
The sun, a free and limitless energy source, powers solar water heaters, which are practical in any climate. There are four different types of solar water heating systems. A direct circulation system circulates water through a solar collector and into an insulated storage tank with a pump. This is best for regions with no extreme cold. People use indirect circulation systems where temperatures reach freezing. A pump circulates an antifreeze solution through solar collectors and a heat exchanger, and then the heat exchanger heats the water.
With integral collector storage systems, the solar collector in the storage tank heats the stored water, and then it flows into the home’s plumbing through gravity. The storage tank is often black to absorb heat. The hot water in a thermosiphon system rises after the sun heats it, so homeowners don’t need gravity or pumps.
Tankless, instantaneous, or on-demand water heaters use heating coils to heat water when you need it. That way, they’re more efficient, and they last longer than conventional water heaters. They don’t use as much space, and they’re either gas or electric. They work best as gas units since they can heat water more quickly. Tankless units are more expensive, but you’ll get your investment back through lower utility bills and a longer life. However, tankless heaters can’t provide hot water as fast as other units. If you have a large family, you might need more than one tankless water heater.
Griffith Energy Services has more than 100 years of heating and cooling experience, and we can help you choose and install the best water heater for your home. Call us anytime at 888-474-3391 for excellent service.
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