Which Water Heater Fits Your Needs?
At the end of a hard day, there’s nothing better than enjoying a hot shower or bath as you unwind. When you need to do laundry or dishes, hot water helps to power away dirt and grime that would be nearly impossible for cold water to remove. In so many ways, hot water is a crucial commodity in Southern California.
Though hot water is a standard in homes, the way in which hot water is delivered can vary widely. To help you determine which type of water heater is the best for your needs, we at We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air have put together this guide to water heaters.
Assuming you’re not heating your water over an open fire, there are two main fuel sources that you can use to heat your water: natural gas and electricity. Though there are a wide variety of water heaters within these two categories, these are your most elemental options.
In most cases, whatever fuel source you are already using is what you are likely to use again. If you’re on the fence, though, here are some pros and cons of both fuel sources.
Electric water heaters are clean and quiet, powered by their own energy supply on a separate electrical circuit. One big advantage of electric water heaters is that they don’t have to be vented since they don’t create any emissions in your home. Additionally, there’s no risk of a release of carbon monoxide in your home since you aren’t dealing with natural gas.
On the other hand, electric water heaters tend to be less efficient than their gas-fired counterparts. Since the electric heating elements aren’t able to reach the high temperatures of a fire-heated heat exchanger, a larger amount of energy has to be used to raise the water to the desired temperature. This also means it typically takes longer for an electric water heater to heat a tank of water, causing you to run out of hot water more quickly.
Natural-gas powered water heaters are fast and efficient. Thanks to the direct heating from the gas-fueled flames, this type of system can give you plenty of hot water quickly, without using much energy. Another advantage is that since gas water heaters require no electricity to operate, you can still enjoy hot water in the event of a power outage.
The main drawbacks of using gas to heat water are related to safety. Since you have a gas supply in your home, the risks of carbon monoxide exposure are always present, though not that significant. Plus, with a vent protruding through your attic and roof, there is a small amount of efficiency lost, even when the area around the vent is well-sealed.
Types of Water Heater
Another classification of water heaters that you’ll need to understand is the different types of water heaters. To meet a variety of needs, we at We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air are able to install these different types of water heaters to ensure you have the most efficient access to hot water in your home. In some cases, a combination of more than one type of water heater may be the best option for your needs.
If you’re looking for a reliable hot water supply at an affordable price, then a traditional water heater with a tank is the best option for you. Since this type of water heater has been around for so long, its design has been perfected, allowing water heaters of this type to be quite effective and efficient. The perks of this type of water heater are reliability, affordability, and ease of use.
One major disadvantage to using a traditional water heater, though, is that once the supply of hot water has been depleted, you have to wait for more water to be heated. If you’re in need of a shower or if you need to wash a load of laundry, this could cause issues. Plus, since the water heater has to work to keep the water hot at all times, a lot of energy is wasted that could be put to better use elsewhere.
If you find yourself using hot water from several different sources at once, then a tankless water heater may be for you. Tankless water heaters can give you the “endless hot water” perk that you normally only get at hotels.
Another advantage of tankless water heaters is that they don’t require much space to install since, as the name suggests, they don’t have a tank. Plus, since they’re not holding water in a tank, they don’t have to keep that water warm, meaning they save a lot of energy versus traditional water heaters.
The main drawbacks of tankless water heaters are the high amount of energy needed at the water heater and the high initial upfront cost. With an experienced plumber from We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air, the energy requirements are nothing to worry about.
When it comes to the upfront cost, if you consider the lower cost of operating a tankless water heater and the fact that most tankless water heaters outlast their traditional counterparts by at least two times, these disadvantages start to fade away.
As mentioned at the beginning of this section, to have the most efficient water heating system in your home, it’s a good idea to use multiple types of water heaters sometimes. The small-capacity water heater is one type of water heater that’s often combined with other types to provide more efficient operation.
These water heaters typically hold from two to five gallons, making them perfect for several hand washes or an efficient washing machine. What makes them efficient is that they are placed in the immediate vicinity of the device that uses hot water. With less pipe between the water heater and the outlet, hot water can be provided quickly, resulting in less wasted water.
Get Professional Help
At We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air, we seek to provide service that’s a cut above our competitors. One way we do that is by giving back to our community, which is why we are proud partners of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County & the Inland Empire.
Additionally, we strive to be your one-stop-shop for all your home’s mechanical needs. Our crew can maintain and repair your heating and cooling system and replace it when the time comes. We are also proud to offer solar installations as part of our commitment to our customers and to the planet.
This commitment to the planet is one reason why we partner with Pearl to certify our work. A Pearl certification indicates that the upgrades we make are good for the home they’re being installed in and are good for the environment since they are installed to maximize efficiency. If you’re intrigued by these differences, contact us today and let us exceed your expectations.