Introduction to Hot Water Heaters

February 03, 2015 - Benjamin Dowson

As its name suggests, a water heater heats water! There are many uses of domestic water heating, such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Most water heaters generally heat water in batches, and the temperature depends on the usage rate. As water flow increases, the temperature of the water decreases until more water can be heated again by your water heater.

Water is usually heated with fossil fuels, such as natural gas or oil. These fossil fuels either heat the water directly, or they produce the electricity that is needed to heat the water. Sometimes other forms of energy are used too, such as solar heating or geothermal heating.

There are 2 different types of water heaters: Storage water heaters & tankless water heaters

Storage water heaters are the most common type. These are the ones you typically see in homes; the big metal cylinders. They hold the heated water that is continuously hot and ready to use. They typically range in size from 20 – 100 gallons, and are centralized at one point in the household.

The advantage of using this type of water heater is that they tend to use less energy overall, and can keep water hot for later use. However, the disadvantages are that over time the water inside of the tank cools and needs to be reheated. Also, once the water inside of the tank is used up it takes a while before hot water is
available again.

Tankless water heaters, as their name implies, do not have a tank. Instead, they heat up the water instantly as the water flows through it. They do not retain any water and they are able to be installed at any location in the house.

While this may seem great at first, the disadvantage of this type of water heater is the price. The cost of installation plus the yearly maintenance costs are significantly more expensive than those of a storage water heater.