Hot water heaters are plumbing appliances that are used to heat water
above its ambient temperature.
Most residential and commercial water heaters are fueled by electricity
or gas. Electric water heaters operate more efficiently, but
gas water heaters often cost less to operate because natural gas is
relatively inexpensive. If you have a gas water heater, you should
install a carbon monoxide detector and have all of your gas appliances
inspected periodically for safety's sake.
Tank-type water heaters have a hot water storage tank where heated water
is stored and available for use at any time. When hot water is drawn
from the tank, it is replaced by cooler water that must be heated
before use. It takes some time for the water in the tank to reach
its thermostatically set temperature. When buying a water heater,
ask about the unit's "Rate of Recovery" to learn how fast it will heat
water in the tank.
A two-person household typically requires a 40 to 60 gallon water heater,
while a five-person household may require a 60 to 80 gallon water heater
to accommodate peak usage requirements. If you have a large family
or a whirlpool tub, consider buying a model with a larger tank, even
though it may cost slightly more to operate.
Tankless water heaters, also known as "on demand" water heaters,
have long been used in Europe and are now available in the USA.
More costly than tank-type water heaters, they can also be more efficient
because they heat water only when it is being used rather than heating
and storing water in a tank where its heat can gradually dissipate.
The heating coils in a tankless hot water heater turn on immediately
when water begins to flow through them and turn off when the water flow
On HotWaterHeaters.us, you will find selected suppliers of both tank-type
and tankless water heaters, as well as consumer information about hot
water heater efficiency and operation. Hard water can shorten
the life of a water heater, so consider warranty issues more carefully
if your water has high mineral content. If you are in the market
for a new water heater, you may wish to read the ACEEE's helpful article
about energy-efficient water heating, as well as the U.S.
DOE articles listed below, before making your hot water heater purchase.
Provides a basic overview of water heater construction
and operation. www.HowStuffWorks.com
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