Water Heater Types

Water Heater Types

Confused with all the water heater types on the market and unable to make a dissension ? There are many advantages and disadvantages on the type of water heater you purchase so in this article we will look at all the types  available and compare their features. Just by understanding your needs you are able to determine the best water heater based on the correct size and fuel source for your home. Check out our new energy saver infographic to learn more on the different water heater types and how to select the correct model for your needs and home.

Different Types of Water Heaters

Choosing the correct water heater is essential to efficiency and cost-effective. The major factor to consider when purchasing a water heater is the fuel source than efficiency, tank size and long-term cost this is what this guide will help you with. Electric water heaters have the lowest price when purchasing but efficient is poor and will more likely to spend quite more on running the heater during your winter season. Tankless on the other hand have higher energy-saving bills but will cost you more to buy and install. If you live in warmer parts of the world like Australia you can make use of solar panel water heaters as they will make more financial sense.

Below is a list of the different types of water heaters on the market

  • Electric / Gas water Heaters
  • Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home’s space heating system to heat water (Hybrid)
  • Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to produce hot water to your home.
  • Tankless or on demand water heaters directly heat without the use of a storage tank (tankless)
  • Point Of Use Water Heater
  • Heat pump water heater move heat from one location to another.
  • Conventional storage water heaters have a storage tank for hot water.

Different Types of Electric Water Heaters

The most commonly used type throw-out the United states, and come in tank and tankless systems. Typical the energy-efficient systems are more expensive at buy but offer a reasonable operating cost. They do however have the shortest life due to how they work and maintenance is cheaper than Gas.

Different Types of Gas Heaters

They are more costly than Electric but are far more efficient in relation to electric water heaters. They are most costly why buying against the Electric option but you will save in the long run in your yearly bills.

Tankless coil and indirect water heaters (Hybrid)

Tankless coil and indirect water heaters

The most advanced yet an indirect water heater system is the most efficient on the market but are expense to purchase. An indirect water heater uses the main furnace or boiler to heat a fluid that’s circulated through a heat exchange in the storage tank. These water heaters are fairly high initial cost, slightly higher maintenance, and do not work well in temperatures that are too cold.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar Water Heater

Solar panel collector units are installed outside usually on the roof of your home, the hot water storage tank is typically a per-existing or sometimes a new conventional water heater tank specifically designed for solar thermal water storage. Solar are great in the correct location so if you live in Australia or sunny California then i would highly recommend installing and investing in one of these.

Tankless Water Heaters


Known as many different names but all mean the same, Tankless water heaters, continuous flow, instantaneous, flash, inlineon-demand or instant-on water heaters. These are typically high-power water heaters that can instantly heat water as it flows through the system, they do not hold any water internally only holding what is in the heat exchange coil. The major advantage is continuous flow of hot water as you need and in return saving energy and your yearly water / gas bill.

Point of Use Water Heaters

Under Sink Water HeaterPoint of Use (POU) water heaters, such as the under sink water heater, are mini water heaters under the sink usually they never replace your primary water heater. With these you can achieve instant hot water as water has no need to travel through the piping system .

Heat pump water heater

Heat pump water heater

Heat pumps use a small amount of power to work mainly transferring the energy from the heat source to the heat sink. A heat pump is a device that provides heat energy from a source of heat to a destination called a “heat sink”.


Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters

Conventional storage water heatersTypical size for a house range from 70 – 390 liter or about 20 to 99 US gallons. They vary from natural gas, propane, electricity, heating oil, and solar energy sources. conventional storage water heater systems are the cheapest to use when compared to tankless. Storage water heaters have the advantage of using less energy reducing your gas or electricity bill, as you are able to store the heat for later. The major disadvantage  is that once the tank’s supply of hot water has been used, there is will be a huge delay before you have hot water again. The water inside the tank cools down then you will need to activate the heating system to heat up the water.


How To Choose A Water Heater

There are a few things to look out for when purchasing a water heater below are a few water heater options to consider when you purchase your next unit:

  • Fuel type, availability and cost. The energy/ fuel source you use in the home will affect your yearly operating cost and efficiency. different  fuel effect the efficiency.
  • Size. This plays a major role in being able to keep a consistent pressure flow in the size of your home. you need to ensure the water heater can provide enough hot water to the correct efficiency level. check out the links above on each water heater type to see the estimated energy efficiency.
  • Energy efficiency. To potentially save energy and money you need to have an energy-efficient water heater.
  • Costs. Compare the annual operating cost between brands and types.

It is advisable to also reduce your hot water usage by fixing leaks or having a yearly maintenance on your units like draining the water heater this can help you save money on your water bill.

Pros and Cons of Different Hot Water Heater Types

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the most common water heater types:

Storage Hot Water Heaters

  • Inexpensive
  • Waste 10%-15% of energy through radiant heat loss
  • Can run out of hot water during extended use
  • 10-15 years life span
  • Tank size is increasing to meet new NAECA standards, so may not fit all homes
  • Average EF rating 0.67
  • $200-$500 plus installation cost

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

  • Compact and can be mounted on a wall inside or on an outside wall
  • Meets NAECA standards
  • Little or no standby energy loss
  • Use 21% to 33% less energy than other storage tank models
  • Hot water flow rate is limited by the size of the unit
  • Can be expensive and costly to install
  • 20 Plus years life span
  • Average EF rating 0.75
  • cost approx $400-$1100 plus installation

Solar Hot Water Heaters

  • Low to non in energy cost
  • 8-12 years your able to pay for the unit
  • Requires sun throughout the year to work
  • Expensive to install
  • Conventional water heater is needed as a backup
  • 21 plus years life span
  • D.I.Y Kit available for $2,100. Professional systems $5,000-$7,000

Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters

  • Low running costs
  • Can only be installed in locations that stay between 40°-90° F (4°-32° C)
  • Dose not operate efficiently in a cold area
  • Can install an air-source heat pump that combines heating, cooling, and water heating; or a stand alone heat pump just for heating water
  • more than 3 times energy-efficient than a conventional electric water heater
  • Higher cost for initial installation cost
  • In Colder weather heat pump will be used and will add to your heating costs
  • Costs range from $1,300 to $2,500 plus installation cost.

Types of Fuel

When you start to researching for new water heaters it is important to consider the fuel type or your energy source you want to use or need to use based on your home. The fuel that you will use will not only dramatically affect your yearly operating cost but also the efficiency of the water heater itself.

Comparison of Fuel cost Across Water Heater Types

If you are lucky enough to have more than one fuel type available in your area it would be wise to compare your options with fuel cost. Even if you are just going to repair or replace you can actually save money with installing a different energy source water heater the best way to compare prices are by contacting your utility company.

water heater cost chart

water heater cost chart

Water heater cost chart, Thanks to onecommunityglobal.org
Remember the type of water heater unit you go for will affect your yearly operating cost. types of water heater fuels and brands use different amounts of fuel amounts and with proper research you can identify what will be most beneficial to you and your needs.

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