The need for hot water is crucial to the comfort and well-being of family members in every home. When your water heater needs replacement, the wide variety of options will surely give you a lot to think about. What are the different configurations, power sources, and capabilities and how can they benefit your household?

How Do Water Heaters Work?

There are a variety of water heater configurations, all with their pros and cons, but essentially water heaters use energy to transfer heat to cold water and, upon demand, send the hot water into your home’s plumbing system. Keep reading to learn more about which water heater will fit your household and budget best!

Direct Heat Tank-Style Water Heaters

The tank-style water heater is the most popular water heater on the market. It consists of an insulated tank of water that is brought up to temperature through a heat source. There are a variety of fuel sources for your tank-style or conventional water heater. Natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity will generate heat and maintain the water temperature in the tank. When you turn on your hot water, the tank will deliver the preheated water to your faucets.

Indirect Tank-Style Water Heaters

Similar to your direct heat water heater, this configuration also stores water within a tank and maintains this temperature until you ask for hot water. The big difference between the two is how the water is brought up to temperature. The indirect water heater collects heats from a nearby boiler. As your boiler is heating your home, an additional water line is directed to go through your water heater, transferring heat to the water heater without burning additional fuel. The downside of this system is that you need to keep your boiler running during the summer months to generate hot water.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

A good way to think of this configuration is as a reverse refrigerator for your water. A refrigerator finds heat inside its chamber and transfers that heat outside; the heat pump component of this water heater finds heat in the surrounding environment and transfers it to the water tank in a very similar fashion–only in reverse. Although this type of water heater uses electricity to power its heat pump, it does not use the electricity to heat the water directly through thermal resistance. This difference leads to a very efficient operation with very little associated cost.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are touted to be superior to the tank-style water heater and in a lot of ways they are. Tankless water heaters, otherwise known as “on-demand” water heaters, do not store water at all! They are designed with a series of coils that go through a heat exchanger. A heat exchanger is simply a mechanism that aids the transfer of heat from one source to another. Within your water heater, the cold water is sent through the heat exchange process only when you turn your hot water on. This process eliminates the need to store water in a tank and maintain its temperature at all times. The potential savings in energy, their smaller size, and their ability to constantly deliver hot water is a big attraction of tankless water heaters, however, they are known to be more expensive upfront.

Now that you understand the different types and functionalities of the water heaters on the market, give the team at Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call when you are ready for a new water heater, or you are looking to service your existing water heater.

About Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling,

Founded over 40 years ago, Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is family-owned and operated by the Daigle family. We are proud to provide quality, dependable plumbing, heating, and cooling services for our customers in Derry, NH, and the surrounding areas. Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is your partner for all your plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 603-434-6353 for a free estimate.