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Three Types of Water Heaters Explained

tankless water heaterWith so many options for water heaters, the obvious question to ask is “Which one is the best?”

Rather than try to tell you which one is best, you’ll have an easier time deciding when you see the pros and cons stacked up against each other. This can give you a good idea about what you’re getting into, but we still recommend consulting with a water heater installation expert in Los Alamos, NM to find out which system will work best for your home.

Tank Water Heaters

The classic water heater. Its appearance is symbolic of water heaters all over, making them the first thing that comes to people’s minds.

All the benefits of the tank water heater come from the functionality provided by the tank:

  • Tank Capacity: Tanks can be installed in various capacities to meet the needs of your hot-water usage. A large enough tank can supply hot water to several appliances simultaneously.
  • Hot Water at the Ready: Heated water remains hot, always ready for when you need it.
  • Inexpensive Installation: One of the easiest and cheapest heaters to install.

Likewise, the tank is also the biggest source of drawbacks:

  • Standby Heat Loss: Hot water that goes unused will gradually lose warmth, only to be heated up again. This cost can add up over time.
  • Limited Capacity: When the hot water runs out, there will be significant downtime as you wait for the water to become hot again.

Tankless Water Heaters

The complete opposite of the tank water heater. Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular for their efficiency.

Tankless technology affords many unique benefits:

  • On-Demand Heat: When you turn on the hot water, the heater uses electrical resistance to warm the water.
  • No Tank, No Heat Loss: Water is only heated when needed, meaning that your energy bill won’t suffer from standby heat loss.
  • Compact Size: Tankless heaters are mounted on the wall and only occupy a couple feet in height and width.

As for the drawbacks…

  • Limited Output: Your tankless water heater will be sized for your home and needs. If you start increasing your hot water usage, however, it can overtax the system and leave you with bursts of cold water.
  • High Electrical Usage: Heating water on demand requires a lot of electrical power. Some homes may even need to have their electrical services upgraded.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pumps work wonders in the world of AC and heating, and they work just as well for water heaters.

The main benefits:

  • Refrigerant-Based Heating: Although they use electricity to transfer heat, it’s a much more efficient process than creating heat via electrical resistance.
  • Storage: Uses a tank, giving you the benefits that come with tank heaters.
  • Safer, Cleaner: Fewer safety risks and friendly for the environment than natural gas systems.

And some drawbacks:

  • Expensive: Heat pump technology is more expensive than tank and tankless water heater costs.
  • Size: Since these heaters use a tank, you can expect them to be about as large as normal tank water heaters.

Need help deciding on the perfect water heater? Contact Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain today to speak with a professional.

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