All About Water Heaters
The only time most of us think about water heaters is when they break down or run out of hot water. However, they’re a piece of technology that has developed dramatically over the past century. In this post, we take a look at the humble water heater and what it does for you.
Water Heater Facts
– The first idea for a water heater was used by a painter in Victorian London. He has figured out that he could heat cold water by putting gas burners at the bottom of the water pipes. This idea inspired Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, to invent the first tank style water heater to bring the idea to Pennsylvania, USA.
– A quarter of the energy used in your household is used by your water heater, to heat water for showers, dishwasher, and washing machines. Most households use around 80 gallons of hot water every day.
– The average tank water heater has a lifespan of 10-13 years. A tankless water heater will last about 18-20 years.
– A shower will use around 6-8 gallons of water; a person taking a bath with use 15-20 gallons. Doing one load of laundry in your washing machine will use 20-30 gallons of water. A dishwasher will use around 6-10 gallons of water and washing your dishes in a bowl of washing up water will use about 2 gallons.
“Geothermal heating systems work by transferring the natural heat of the earth to provide heating to houses. The term geothermal is derived from the Greek language, and literally translated means ‘earth heat.’ This source of energy is found underneath the crust of the earth – both in shallow grounds, as well as miles below the surface and even in magma. Tapping into those reservoirs of magma, steam or hot water, it can generate energy both in terms of geothermal heating as well as geothermal electricity, that can then be used to provide electricity to run household appliances or provide the house with heating, cooling or warm water.”
Types of Water Heaters
There are many types of water heater, and it’s important that a given model is suitable for your home and your family’s needs. A tankless water heater heats water on demand. The heater doesn’t have a storage tank, instead using heating coils to heat the water. These water heaters are great for households that use natural gas as their principal fuel.Solar water heaters are used in warm sunny regions. Solar cells are mounted on the roof of the property. These cells absorb heat and transfer it to an antifreeze closed water system that runs to the water tank. It will take 10-30 years to make back the buying and installation costs should you choose this option.
A storage tank heater is the most common type of water heater. These heaters come with a temperature and pressure relief valve that opens if the pre-set level is exceeded. Storage tank water heaters run on gas and electricity, but gas models are a more expensive initial outlay.
Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrids, heat water by trapping heat from the air and transferring it to the water. They are less effective in colder regions and require 1000 cubic feet of uncooled space to collect enough heat. This technology also needs a drain close by to discharge the condensation once it builds up.
A condensing water heater is the one for you if you heat with gas and need a unit with more than a 55 gallon capacity. However, the condensing heater will capture exhaust gases escaping the flue, wasting energy.