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What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters?


How’s your water heater doing? Has it been causing you any problems lately? Or perhaps you’ve had it for a long time and you’re beginning to suspect it’s not long for this world? If you’re looking into your options for water heater replacement, you’ve noticed there are a variety of options. But what are the differences? For all your questions about water heaters in Janesville, WI, we’d be delighted to talk with you.

Tank or Storage Water Heaters

The type of water heater most people are familiar with is called a tank water heater or storage water heater. It keeps a significant quantity of water hot at all times in the tank. This could be as little as forty gallons or as much as seventy-five for a typical residential water heater. 

While this is the standard for good reason, there are drawbacks as well as benefits. It can provide a great deal of hot water all at once, but when that water runs out, it takes some time for the tank of now cold water to heat up again. Because it keeps water hot at all times, it is always using energy to do so.

Tankless Water Heaters

Rather than keeping a large amount of water hot and at the ready at all times, the tankless variety of water heating system only heats what’s needed when it’s called for. When the hot water tap is turned on, the heating begins, and when the tap is turned off, the heating stops.

Again, there are benefits and drawbacks. This kind of system is highly efficient, but also more expensive to purchase at the outset than a tank water heater. And while it will never run completely out of hot water and make you wait to shower because a family member used up all the hot water, it can only produce a limited quantity—2 to 5 gallons per minute—at a time.

Power Vent Water Heaters

A typical gas water heater vents exhaust passively, up a vertical chimney. A power vent is a system that uses a blower to force the exhaust out through a horizontal exhaust pipe. This means there are many more options for where this type of system can be located, so it works well in a wide variety of homes and situations. It also experiences less backdraft. This makes it safer and also helps the system last longer.

Is It Time for a Water Heater Replacement?

Before you settle on a system to replace your old water heater with, you should have some information about how to determine whether that replacement is necessary just now. A tank water heater will last 8-12 years or so, while a tankless one can last up to 20. 

If your old water heater is producing strange noises or insufficient hot water, you may wish to replace it rather than keep investing in a system that won’t last much longer no matter what you do. But if those same problems occur in a water heater that is not nearly so old, repairs are the way to go. And most water heater problems can be avoided—and water heater life spans can be extended—with annual maintenance.

You can always count on 24Hr Home Comfort Services, your heating and cooling specialists.

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