While storage water heaters and tankless water heaters remain the two main types of hot water systems available for homes, other good options do exist. Whether you're looking to install a new residential water heater or replace an existing one, here are a few other excellent options for heating your water.
Solar Water Heaters
As a growing number of people become aware of the benefits of making their homes more efficient, the demand for solar-powered water heaters has been on the rise. As the name implies, these water heaters use the sun's energy to heat water. This is achieved by installing solar thermal collectors on roofs, walls, or the ground, depending on what location receives maximum sunshine during the daytime.
Because solar energy is a free and abundant energy source, heating your water with solar will cost you nothing at all. Plus, solar power is considered to be clean energy that doesn't cause the degradation of the environment.
As with most new innovations, solar water heaters are still quite expensive to purchase and install. However, the long-term cost savings from heating water with solar energy can add up long after you've amortized your initial investment. Plus, you may be eligible for solar tax incentives and rebates, depending on the region you live. These can alleviate the initial cost of solar water heater installation.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
These water heaters have one thing in common with air conditioners: they both require refrigerants to function properly. In a hot water unit, refrigerant is the hot compressed gas that is used to draw the heat in the ambient air outside of the unit and then transfer it to the water stored in a tank. As the hot compressed gas passes its heat to the water, it cools down and reverts to a liquid state. This refrigeration cycle continues automatically for as long as your water heating unit is powered up.
While current heat pump water heaters use electricity to heat water, the technology is under development for operating these water heaters with gas.
Electric heat pump water heaters are also referred to as hybrids because they allow users to switch to electricity and operate simultaneously when there's not enough heat in the surrounding air to match the domestic hot water demand.
With the numerous types of water heaters found on today's market, choosing the right hot water system for your come can be a confusing thing. To find more information on your water heater options, don't hesitate to contact a plumbing contractor that serves your area.