Energy efficiency is a shared goal among many households today. Why wouldn’t it be? We’re all clear on the benefits – both environmental and fiscal – of cutting down resource use when possible.
For those who live in large homes, reducing energy consumption can be tricky – and it all starts with the selection of the right appliances. Water heaters are one of the most impactful players here, and this guide is intended to help you understand what kind of water heater works best for your large home.
A Look at the Types of Water Heaters Available On the Market Today
There are many types of water heating systems out there, each of which go about the job of warming water in a unique way. Electric models are perhaps the most common. They work by channeling electricity through a heating element. This electricity heats the water, which is then stored in an insulated tank until it’s ready to be used.
Gas-fired models are also popular for large homes and rely on natural gas or propane to heat the water. These models are generally more energy efficient than electric units and have lower operating costs, but require a bit of regular maintenance to keep them in top shape.
Heat pump water heaters, or HPWHs, may be a good option for larger homes that need to heat a lot of water. These models are powered by electricity, but they operate differently than electric units; instead of directly heating the water, HPWHs move heat from one place to another.
There’s also solar water heating systems, which use solar panels to collect heat from the sun and transfer it to a special fluid. This fluid is then used to heat the water stored in an insulated tank. Solar hot water systems may work well for homes located in areas that get lots of sunshine, and they often qualify for government rebates.
Clarifying the DIfferences Between Storage Tank and Instant Water Heaters
No matter which type of water heater you choose, it’s important to consider the size and capacity needed to best meet your family’s hot water needs. Many find themselves stuck between storage tank water heaters and instant water heaters.
Storage tank units hold a large amount of hot water in their tanks, which can be used over a short period of time before needing to be reheated. This makes them great for large households with multiple hot water needs. However, they require more energy to heat the tank each time it’s depleted – making them less efficient than instant water heaters in some cases.
Instant water heaters work by heating up cold water as it passes through the pipes. This means they don’t require a tank, and they can provide hot water on demand without having to wait for a full tank of stored hot water. They’re much more energy efficient than storage tanks, but may require a larger up-front investment and may not be able to handle the hot water needs of large households.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to talk to an expert – a plumber or heating engineer can assess your home and recommend the best option for you. They’ll be able to take into account all the information they need, such as what type of water heater you have now, how large your household is and how much energy you need to heat your water. They may also be able to help you assess your eligibility for lucrative government incentives.