Now that the cold weather is at our doorstep, you might be thinking about getting a new hot water system.
Sizing your hot water system in your home is quite simple once you understand the basics. If you are trying to decide on the best hot water system that fits your needs, it can be confusing. Many hot water systems are available from various brands and models and feature differences in energy or gas saving capabilities, so how do you know what to get?
Five Things To Consider:
- The number of people that will be using the hot water system at the same time.
- The location of the hot water system and the ratio of people to bathrooms.
- The types of appliances and fixtures that will be using hot water.
- How much water do you use daily?
- What do you use more often, hot or cold water?
When sizing a water heater, you should always look to buy the largest water heater that you can fit into your available space. If you have a lot of hot water demands, you may want to consider purchasing a larger water heater.
Types of Water Heaters:
- Storage Hot Water Units: This is the kind of hot water heater you will mostly see in homes. A storage water heater comprises two main parts: the storage tank that holds the hot water and the heat exchanger that heats the water. The flame heats the water in the storage tank from the gas burner.
- Tankless Water Heaters: A tankless water heater (also known as an instantaneous water heater) is a water heater that heats water on-demand without using a tank. This unit heats water directly from the water source, usually the cold-water line. This unit is less expensive to install and operate than a water storage tank type, but you need to have continuous water flow to make it work, which means it’s unsuitable for areas with low water pressure.
- Solar Water Heater: A solar water heater uses solar radiation to heat water, making it an alternative source of hot water for homes without access to natural gas or electricity. It is usually installed at the highest point of the house and away from the living area.
- Electric Water Heater: An electric water heater is a type of water heater that uses electricity as its heating source. These water heaters are not very common any more, but they are helpful in areas where natural gas and solar energy are not available.
Storage Tank Water Heaters: Storage tank water heaters are very common in many other parts of the world. These water heaters usually have a storage tank attached to the heater, then connected to a heat exchanger with the hot water pipe. The water is heated in the storage tank and is then circulated through the pipes as needed.
Storage tank water heaters use a gas or electric heater to heat the water, and these water heaters have some of the highest energy ratings. They are also straightforward to install and maintain.
Continuous Flow Water Heaters: These heaters are usually smaller and easily installed in the house’s central location. They are also called instantaneous water heaters because the hot water is heated and circulated immediately. Similarly, they are also effortless to maintain and are very high in energy ratings.
How do I Know What Size to Get?
Consider your household size. One person’s typical daily hot water consumption is roughly 50 litres. Multiply that by how many people are in your household and do some estimations. It’s also important to consider the other household water consumption, such as washing machines or dishwashers.
Temperature matters, too. Are you running the washing machine with hot water multiple times a day? Then you might want a larger water heater.
It’s generally a good idea to talk to your hot water system installer if you have any questions.
Water heaters have become an essential part of our daily life, from the kitchen to the bathroom to our backyards. If your water heater is underperforming, it’s likely time for an upgrade. The different types of water heaters can be confusing at first, but this guide is here to help.