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What's the Best Kind of Water Heater?

Best Water HeatersWhen choosing a new water heater for your home there are more choices than ever. Here's a comparison of the most common types of water heater and the advantages and disadvantages of each style.

Electric Tank Water Heater

Heats and stores water using electricity
  • Purchase Cost (less installation): $300 - $1,200
  • Advantages: Lowest upfront cost, Good for small or large households
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Gas Tank Water Heater

Heats and stores water using natural gas or propane
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $380 to $1,500
  • Advantages: Lowest upfront cost, Good for small or large households
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Tankless Gas Water Heater

Heats water on demand when its needed.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1000+
  • Advantages: Good for smaller households, lower operating cost, small footprint
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Electric Heat Pump Water Heater

Uses electricity to move heat from one place to another
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: Great for warm climates like Florida
  • Disadvantages: More expensive than a conventional water heater

Condensing Gas Water Heaters

Heats and stores the water using gas, then uses the combustion gas to further heat the water.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: Lowest operating cost. Can save a household $100+ a year
  • Disadvantages: Higher up-front cost

Hybrid Tankless Water Heater

Combines the advantages of a small storage tank with a tankless water heater.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: Lower operating cost. Less standby heat loss than a conventional tank water heater, and no "cold water sandwich" that can occur with tankless water heaters.
  • Disadvantages: Higher up-front cost
Need help choosing the best water heater for your needs? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help answer all your questions.
When most people think of water heaters the first thing that comes to mind is a conventional tank storage water heater. Tank water heaters store 20-80 gallons of hot water and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. However, because they must maintain a large volume of heated water, they can be more costly to operate. Newer technology is designed to address some of the shortcomings of the traditional water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. A gas burner or electric element heats the cold water as it passes through the water heater. Households that require a lot of hot water can benefit the from a virtually endless supply of hot water. One downside to tankless water heaters is they typically cost more to purchase and install, although they can last longer than conventional tank water heaters if properly maintained. Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is they can take longer to heat the water initially when the tap is first turned on.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters are designed to combine the benefits of a conventional tank water heater and a tankless water heater. They have a small storage tank that provides an initial supply of hot water, then heats cold water on demand with a heating element similar to a tankless water heater.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters distribute heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly to providing hot water.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use the sun's heat to heat water. A roof-mounted solar collector absorbs the sun's heat and stores it in a special fluid that circulates in a closed-loop system that heats water in a tank.

Have questions about which water heater is right for your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Is a Tankless Water Heater the Right Choice For My Home?

Tankless Water Heaters SarasotaWhen it comes time to replace your old water heater, you make be considering the advantages of upgrading to a tankless water heater versus buying another new tank-style water heater. Here are some common questions about tankless water heaters.

How does a tankless water heater work?

A tankless water heater works on demand so it isn’t using any gas until the hot water is turned on from the point of use.  The units ABC installs start working at very low pressures to ensure the unit turns on quickly and then will continue to provide hot water heater for as long as you want to use the shower or faucet, etc. Premium tankless water heaters, also called hybrid water heaters, have a buffer tank installed with a pump,  this eliminates the “cold water sandwich” that is common amongst tankless water heaters,  it also allows the hot water to get to the faucet faster. 

What are the advantages of using a tankless water heater?

The first benefit is endless hot water,  you can literally turn the hot water on at 8am and then shut it off at 9pm and it will still be the same temperature.  They also are more efficient than a typical heater usually this means you save on your gas bill.  Next, all parts of the unit are replaceable unlike a tank type water heater,  which means a much longer life expectancy and better warranties.  Because it doesn't have a large tank of water, it will not flood the basement and takes up no floor space. Another advantage to tankless water heater is space. Because they are mounted to the wall, they don't take up floor space like a conventional tank unit will.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage of tankless water heaters is cost. They will cost more to purchase and install than a standard tank water heater. However, because of the lower energy consumption and longer expected lifespan, the long term cost can be competitive with conventional water heaters.

Because a tankless water heater takes a few seconds to heat up before the heat is transfered to the water, a small amount of cold water can make it through the heat exchanger without warming up. The result is a "cold water sandwich" can occur. One solution is to install a hybrid water heater. A hybrid water heater works just like a tankless water heater, but employs a small tank of continually heated water that's designed to prevent unheated water from leaving the unit.

Can a tankless water heater be installed in the same place as the old water heater?

Yes,  they can be installed almost anywhere because the manufacturing process is completing at the job site it allows greater flexibility for installation location.

How much does it cost to have a tankless water heater installed?

This depends on various things throughout the installation process and what exactly you looking for. That is why ABC Southwest always sends a licensed technician to the home first, to examine and discuss the options available. We provide you with a guaranteed price in writing before any work begins.
Thursday, 10 May 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have revolutionized the home water heater. They produce more hot water, at a more consistent temperatures, using less energy than typical tank-style water heaters.

Tankless Water Heater Advantages

Here are some benefits to think about when considering a tankless water heater:

1. Energy Cost Saving

Because tankless water heaters provide hot water only when it’s needed, they can save you up to 40%* on your energy bill. They feature Energy Factors of 0.82 up to 0.96, while tanks are typically 0.60.

2. Endless Hot Water

Tankless hot water heaters do not store a large volume of hot water that can be depleted, but rather heat the water as it’s being used, giving you endless comfort in the form of continuous hot water at a consistent temperature. You can even use hot water for multiple tasks—such as showering, washing dishes or doing laundry—at the same time without worrying about running out.

3. Space Savings

Traditional tank water heaters can take up to 16 square feet of valuable floor space. Tankless water heaters, however, are a fraction of the size and can be installed on virtually any wall, indoors or outdoors.

4. Increased Lifespan

Tankless water heaters have a typical life expectancy of up to 20 years—twice as long as a tank-style unit.

5. Environmentally Friendly

Most tankless gas water heaters have earned ENERGY STAR® approval by meeting the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

* As based on the average cost to run an electric tank water heater per the DOE Average

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