Water Heaters 101: Learning About 4 Common Water Heater Styles

If your water heater is no longer working properly, you are probably looking to replace it. Although purchasing a new unit might seem easy, you'll soon discover that it can be a bit daunting and confusing. In today's world, there are many different types of water heaters available—and the one you choose will affect your day-to-day life, so it's important to pick a good one.

If you don't know much about water heaters, don't fret. With a little knowledge, you will be well on your way to purchasing a new—and effective—water heater for your home. Here are four common types of water heaters available for residential homes.

1. Tankless

One of the newer types of water heaters is the tankless version. As you might imagine, the tankless unit does not hold hot water 24/7. Instead, it heats water as needed. It might sound inefficient, but these types of heaters work very quickly. In fact, they can heat up water endlessly so you will never run out of hot water. They also save you money, because your unit won't be working constantly to heat up water and keep it hot.

The only downside to these units is that they are more expensive than traditional water heaters. Additionally, installation costs can also run high.

2. Hybrid

Another newer type of water heater is the hybrid unit. These units work a bit differently than traditional units in that they use the warm air from within the home to heat the water inside the tank. Because of the way they work, they are ideal for those living in warm climates. They are affordable, easy to use, and do not cost a lot to run. However, they do not well in cooler climates as the air won't be warm enough to heat the water. These units also utilize air filters, so those will need to be changed regularly to keep the unit running properly as well.

3. Solar

If you are looking for an eco-friendly water heater, consider a solar unit. These units work as you would imagine. They harness the warmth and power from the sun to heat the water inside the tank. They are expensive initially, but cost very little to run afterwards—so they are good for those looking to save money, as well. Contrary to what you might think, these units can run in both warm and cold climates. So they are perfect even if you live in an area that gets lots of snow; however, they will require antifreeze to keep the water from freezing.

The main downside to these units is that the installation process can be quite expensive, depending on the unit you purchase. Additionally, these systems require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. However, most of it can be done yourself.

4. Traditional

Finally, you can opt for a traditional electric or gas heater. These units use power to heat water inside the tank. The water is held in the tank and kept warm until you need to use it; and then the unit repeats the process of warming the water. These units are affordable and work well. However, they can be expensive to run on a daily basis. So keep this in mind when considering a traditional unit.

As you can see, there are several types of water heaters. If you are on the market for a new water heater, use this guide, and a professional plumber like Brother's Plumbing, to help you choose a unit that fits your lifestyle and budget.