Water Heaters – What’s the Difference

You know our saying, “If water runs to it or through it, we do it!’ Here at Economy Plumbing Services LLC, we pride ourselves on having comprehensive knowledge of everything plumbing related – and sharing that with our customers. We want to make sure you have everything you need to make smart decisions for your home and plumbing needs, whether that’s the power of PEX tubing or when to replace your water heater. Speaking of, if you are on the edge of replacing your water heater and wondering, ‘What’s the difference between all these water heaters?’ read on because this blog is for you! 

Diff’rent Water Heaters, Diff’rent Strokes

We talk about it on our water heater page, but there are different kinds of water heaters out there and we have tons of experience with each of them.  There are different fuel sources, different tank options and sizes. Let’s go over a few of them!

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters use electricity as fuel to heat the water inside of the tank.  The unit takes power from your electrical and powers an electric heating element inside of the tank, if you think of a metal coil you basically have it right. These elements are replaceable in case wear and tear does a number on them. Usually, electric water heaters are less expensive than other types of water heaters. They can range in size from mid 20s to 100+ gallons of storage and also have a number of different efficiency models, which is nice because they generally are less efficient than gas water heaters.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters use your home’s gas lines to heat the water. The unit has a gas line that leads to a burner and chimney system that runs usually right down the center of the unit (to provide uniform and efficient heating). The burner – well, burns, and the exhaust goes up the chimney and through a vent while the heat generated warms the metal chimney walls. Gas water heaters are more energy efficient than electric water heaters but come at other costs. They need air circulating around the unit to properly vent it, you definitely don’t want to store any combustible materials nearby, and the are generally more expensive to purchase than an electric model. They have a similar range of tank sizes from 30 gallons up to 100 gallons.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters work off a heat pump system to heat the water. Using either the heat in the ground or the air, it uses minimal electricity to transfer that heat energy to the water. It can be set up outside or indoors. Hybrid models are more expensive on the front end, being larger than standard water heaters and need more room to install but afterwards they are incredibly energy efficient. They have a smaller range in tank size, from 50 to 80 gallons.

Fuel sources aren’t the only differences in water heaters – there are also tankless models to think about!

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters, also known as ‘on-demand’ water heaters are coils that water passes through being heated in the process. These models are incredibly energy efficient as well as the only energy used is to heat the water as it is needed, no excess energy is spent filling the tank with hot water. Tankless water heaters are more expensive to install however.

All of these water heaters can handle the job you throw at them, but the differences in how they function, what they require to work efficiently, and upfront costs are all things to keep in mind when you are shopping for your next heater. Need help? Give us a call! The experts at Economy Plumbing Services LLC are here to help!

If water runs through it or to it, we do it!

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