If you’re researching new 2017 water heaters, you might be surprised at all the options you have: tank, tankless, and hybrid systems with electric, gas, and solar fuel choices. Don’t be overwhelmed—we’ll help you sort out the differences! Our overview will equip you with the info you need to make the decision that’s best for you.
2107 Water Heater Guide
Tank Water Heaters (system): This is what you’d consider a traditional water heater—a set supply of hot water in a tank. Tank systems require constant heating. Have you ever had the misfortune of taking a shower when the hot water ran out? That’s because too much hot water was used at once (hey, we aren’t pointing any fingers, but maybe the person before you took a while…). The now-gone hot water is replaced with cold water that needs to be heated up, and if you’ve danced around a cold shower waiting for that, you know it’s not always a quick process.
Tankless Water Heaters (system): This is a heat-as-you-go system, which means no matter how long the person before you takes in the shower, you’ll never run out. When you turn on the hot water faucet, water passes through a heat exchanger burner assembly en route to delivery. When the faucet (or appliance) is shut off, the unit returns to standby mode—which means there’s no pilot light burning all day and wasting energy. More cost- and energy-efficient than tank heaters, tankless systems are increasingly popular. They can serve the whole house, often with one small, compact unit. Compared to traditional water heaters, tankless systems take up less space, last twice as long, and require less maintenance overall.
Hybrid Water Heaters (system): Hybrids have the best functions of both tank and tankless systems. They heat water quickly while also maintaining a reserve and are more efficient than a standard heater. Although expensive upfront, hybrids are money-savers in the long run due to their efficiency. Size is a factor for hybrids—some are smaller than traditional tank systems, but some can be larger, depending on the model.
Electric Water Heaters (fuel type): Electricity can be used to heat both tank and tankless systems. Electric systems cost less money upfront but are not energy-efficient, so they cost more in the long run. Properly maintained electric water heater tanks typically work for fifteen years. As for tankless systems, flow rate is something to consider (about two gallons of hot water per minute).
Natural Gas Water Heaters (fuel type): Gas can also be used to heat both tank and tankless systems. Gas systems cost more upfront than electric systems but use less energy and cost less to run. Properly maintained gas water heater tanks typically work for ten years. As for tankless systems, flow rate is something to consider (about five gallons of hot water per minute).
Solar Water Heaters (fuel type): Solar is used for tank systems and is the most efficient fuel source available. Solar water heating systems include tanks (well-insulated ones) as well as solar collectors. Active systems have circulating pumps and controls; passive systems do not. Solar comes in one-tank systems (the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in a single tank) and two-tank systems (the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the traditional water heater). Of course, if you’re going to go solar, evaluate the resource—sun. (Not usually a problem in North Carolina, thankfully!)
Which 2017 Water Heater is Right for Me?
It depends: How long do you plan to stay in the home—more or less than 10 years? Are there a lot of people in the household? Is green or clean energy important to you? As with any big decision, consider your lifestyle, plans, and budget before proceeding. What might be right for one household might not be for another.
Expert Charlotte Water Heater Installation
In need of a water heater? Curious about how tankless heaters—our specialty —work with your existing plumbing? Want to chat in more detail about the options? We are water heater experts! Give us a call at 704-846-5371 or use our online contact form for service 24/7, 365 days a year.
Quick question & answer: What types of water heaters are available?
In 2017, there were six types of water heaters available. Homeowners had the options of tank, tankless, hybrid, electric, natural gas, and solar water heaters. Hybrid had the best functions of both tank and tankless systems. Electric systems cost less upfront. Gas costs more upfront than electric. Solar is the most efficient fuel source.