Did you run out of hot water one time too many while showering? Perhaps the closest you get to hot water doesn’t even brew tea. Or maybe your current water heater is older than you. And your parents.
There are four primary replacement options for a decrepit or unsatisfactory water heater.
- Conventional storage water heater
According to Energy.gov, a conventional water heater “operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap.”
Once this hot water is used, more cold water enters the tank to assure the heater is always full. Because this water is continuously heated, it’s always ready.
The downside? If this heated water isn’t used right away, you pay to heat it without benefit.
- Tankless water heater
Ehow describes tankless water heaters as “on-demand water heaters. They eliminate the wasted energy produced by conventional heating systems.”
Cold water is warmed by heating elements in tubes before it’s sent throughout the house.
The major problem is the cost to install a tankless system often outweighs its potential energy savings.
- Electric pump water heater:
These water heaters “have a conventional electric storage heater paired with a heat pump that extracts heat from the surrounding air and uses it to help heat the water,” according to ConsumerReports.org.
Tests conducted by Consumer Reports indicated these types of water heaters use about 60 percent less energy than standard electric heaters.
On the negative side, these electric pump water heaters need a lot more space than conventional ones, and they’re quite a bit noisier.
- Solar water heater
The sun powers solar water heaters. “This type of water heater features two parts: a solar collector and an insulated storage tank.” BobVila.com says.
Water is distributed through a pump in an active solar water heater where passive solar water heaters rely on gravity for water distribution.
Two of the disadvantages of the solar water heater include its expense and the need for sunshine. If you live somewhere that’s cloudy much of the time, this may not be efficient.
Have questions about water heaters? Call Eyman Plumbing, Heating & Air at 402-731-2727. We can help.