Your water heater is an essential part of your home. It provides hot water for your household, so you can wash dishes, wash clothes and bathe regularly. The right water heater will make sure you have hot water year-round. Choosing a modern, energy-efficient water heater will protect your finances, and help the environment. But which new water heater installation is right for your Bloomington, IL home? This guide will discuss the different types of water heaters, and their fuel types, and examine the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make an informed decision.
Whether you have a hot water heater that has stopped working or you want to reduce your energy consumption by buying a more efficient system, rushing the decision to buy a new water heater is ill-advised. Water heaters are vast and varied, there are even multiple energy sources available for modern heaters and your decision-making should start here.
These are the most common energy sources used in water heater installation:
- Natural gas
- LP gas
Many water heaters use gas or electricity as the heat source, both for traditional storage tank heaters and modern tankless heaters. In warmer states, solar and geothermal energy may be used to power heaters. Using solar-powered systems, you can make significant savings on energy bill costs, but the terrain and location of your home may not be suitable for a solar setup.
When choosing the right water heater to heat your home, there are many additional factors you should consider, including water heater size and type of water heater.
If your existing water heater installation doesn’t have the capacity to meet your growing family’s needs, it won’t be of much value. Consider all the ways and times you use hot water in your house. From cooking to cleaning, bathing, and more. You need a water heater that can reliably meet your household’s demands.
There are many types of water heaters available. While some types, such as storage water heaters, are extremely common, it doesn’t mean there aren’t advantages to other types available on the market. Indeed, a traditional water heater with a storage tank has its own disadvantages.
A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand heater, is designed to provide hot water only when you ask for it. This can help you save money vs. if you have a traditional water heater installation with a storage tank, as the tank is susceptible to standby heat loss. This means it can take longer for hot water to reach you, and it can also cost more to continuously re-heat the stored water.
Tankless heaters are popular with many homeowners in Bloomington, IL. Their space-saving designs mean you have more flexibility regarding their placement, they offer increased energy efficiency as they do not continuously heat water, and there are many point-of-service options available. This means you can supplement your existing hot water heating setup with smaller tankless heaters in faraway parts of the house, or serve the family bathroom with its own separate water heater installation so that it doesn’t compromise water usage in other areas of the house when in use.
However, to get the best use out of a tankless water heater, you need to get an adequately-sized unit. Otherwise, you could still end up with inconsistent water temperatures when the demand for hot water is high. They also have a higher upfront purchase cost than storage-type water heaters.
Another common type of water heater is those attached to a heat pump. They are similar to traditional storage heaters, however, they don’t use gas or electricity to heat stored water. Instead, this water heater installation will rely on the environment to do the work, using geothermal heat. One advantage of this is that they offer high energy efficiency. They don’t burn fuel to heat water and consume very little energy, which will keep your energy bills low. They do, however, cost a lot more to install than many other types of water heaters. Is the trade-off worth it? Only you can decide!
Another energy-efficient water heating option is the solar-powered water heater. All solar-powered water heaters have the same parts: solar collectors, which heat water from the sun, and storage tanks, where the hot water is kept before use.
There are two ways a water heater installation uses solar power. The first is in an active system, which has electric heat pumps that help to circulate water throughout the heater until it reaches the desired temperature. The second is within a passive system, which takes advantage of basic physics. The warmest water rises into the storage tank from the collectors, and can then be used throughout your home. In this case, the storage tank is typically mounted in an attic, so you will need to make sure there is sufficient support.
One benefit of using a solar-powered system is that it’s extremely cost-efficient after the initial outlay because the sun’s energy is freely available. However, a solar water heater installation requires a significant initial investment. You may not see financial savings until several years later. You also need to take into account climate variables.
Making Your Decision
Individual circumstances will have an effect on which water heater is best for your home, and your home’s factors must also be taken into consideration. Does your attic have the ability to support a storage tank? Does your home get enough sunlight to make a solar-powered option feasible? You’ll also need to balance the cost and efficiency. Can you afford to purchase the type of water heater you’re looking at? A water heater with a lower installation cost may be preferable to one with a higher initial investment. There could also be Homeowner Association rules or building code regulations that you need to pay attention to.
If you think you’re ready to make your decision and have a water heater installation in mind, call the pros at Covenant Plumbing in Bloomington, IL. We’re here to help!