Think about the next water heater you want to install. The natural instinct when a water heater stops working is to buy a similar heater. It helps to shop around for two reasons. The first is that newer and more efficient versions are being rolled out year after year. Secondly, you might spend less on a different but better model or version. Consider the following facts about various water heating systems before buying your next water heater for your hot water installation.
1. Powering options
Water heaters can be powered by gas, electricity or solar power. Gas heaters use either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. Solar water heaters are the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They are also the most expensive to install. Typically, solar water heaters need a backup when the sun is not shining, especially in cold areas. Gas or electricity can boost them.
2. Water storage
There are two general categorisations for water heating systems namely instant and storage water heating systems. Instant heaters save energy because they heat water only when it is needed, so you never run out of hot water. The only drawback here is that if many people or applications want to use hot water, they have to take turns. The remedy here is to install more than one instant heater. Storage heaters store water so they are ideal for houses with many occupants and applications that might need hot water at the same time. Storage tanks are usually heavily insulated to minimise heat loss and corrosion.
3. Running costs
Solar heaters have the lowest running costs even if they use gas or electric backups. Part of your roof must be inclined northward if you want a solar hot water installation in your home. Electrical heaters are cheaper to install but expensive to run. If you can run them on an off-peak tariff, the running costs reduce significantly. However, the storage should be large enough to accommodate enough water supply for the day's needs. Gas water heaters are quite budget-friendly to install and run, so they are the best option for continuous flow systems. Piped natural gas must be available in your area for this option to be cost-effective.
When choosing a water heating system consider the energy rating and capacity of the heater. This helps you calculate the long-term cost of energy while meeting your water heating needs. The initial buying cost can be high but the overall running cost even after one year becomes so low that it justifies overlooking a cheaper model.