WATER HEATER PAGE
Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater
Storage tanks are the most common type of water heater. As the name suggests, these consist of an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed, then emerges from a pipe on top of the water heater. There is also a temperature- and pressure-relief valve, which opens if either exceeds a preset level for safety. Conventional natural-gas water heaters typically use less energy and cost less to run (by about half) than electric water heaters but use 50% more energy than tankless models, although you should note that conventional and tankless gas models cost more than electric at the time of purchase.
Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater
Rather than storing water, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat the water as you need it. They’re more energy-efficient than a storage tank and must be properly sized to supply the needed amount of hot water for your hot water needs. Tankless heaters come with a 10 year warranty and with proper maintenance will last well past the 20 year mark. Tankless models are best for homes that use natural gas to heat the water; electric models might require an expensive upgrade of the home’s electrical capacity and therefore are not something we recommend.
Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater
These capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. They use about 60 percent less energy than standard electric water heaters. And while they cost more than electric-only models, installation is similar and payback time is short. But they don’t work well in very cold spaces and need to be placed in an area that stays about 40° F to 90° F. And because the heat pump is on top, a hybrid water heater needs as much as 7 feet of clearance from floor to ceiling so they may not fit in place of the original electric heater. You’ll also need up to 1,000 cubic feet of uncooled space around the heater to capture enough heat from the air as well as a nearby drain to discharge the condensate.