A broken water heater is probably one of the most common concerns any property manager or complex supervisor encounters while overseeing their community. Water heaters are expensive equipment pieces that need to be maintained and cleaned regularly to prevent breakdowns. Heaters that need frequent repair are possibly either overworked or under-capacity for the type of building that they are servicing.
There are several types of water heaters that property owners can choose from when it comes to the “right” water heater. Three of the most common types available today are the conventional tank, tankless, and hybrid water heaters. Knowing the difference between the three and which one would be best to use can save you valuable time and money in the long run. Before you decide what type of water heater is best for your housing complex or community, you should know more about each type of water heater.
Let’s take a look at the main differences between the three types of water heaters and the potential benefits of each one. The 3 types are:
Conventional water heaters are the most popular in the market and are the ones used in most homes. It collects water in an insulated tank, heats it, and stores it for future use. As the water is used up, new water is pumped into the tank and heated, and the cycle continues. Because this type of heater is straightforward and easy to install, it is one of the most affordable options and will last about 10 to 12 years with regular use. With conventional tanks, however, because they do collect and store water, you will need to have it cleaned periodically to remove any sediments or mineral deposits that accumulate and settle inside over time. Tank systems are better for smaller, single-family residences as the capacity may not be able to keep up with high demand, such as in multi-apartment complexes.
Tankless heaters are also called on-demand heating devices. There is no water collection tank, as the name suggests, and uses super-heated coils to flash-heat water as it passes through the system. This heating service Is scalable and can be installed per-room, or per-building, depending on demand. Because they are scalable, they are great to use with larger, multiple-family residences. Some tankless heaters burn gas to heat water, while others use electricity. Larger-capacity heaters can take a toll on your building utilities, so you may need to decide if the demand is high enough, or your occupants can afford the expense for the convenience of continuously running hot water.
Hybrid heaters are more energy-efficient than the tankless type. They use an indirect method for heating the water. Whereas the two others use gas or electricity to generate heat, this hybrid pulls it from the air around the machine, increases the temperature, and pushes it into a tank with waiting water. It requires a substantial vertical clearance to be able to achieve this, usually about 1,000 cubic feet of space or eight to 10 feet of distance from the ceiling. This heater type uses 60% less energy than the tankless counterpart. However, it won’t be efficient or effective in places where the climate makes the air in the surrounding room too cold, or basements that trap too much cold air.
Of the available water heater models in the market, figuring out what type of water heater is best will depend on the size of the property you need it to serve. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to capacity, space it occupies, and the cost to run it. You can consult an expert in plumbing service who can help you determine the most energy and cost-efficient system given your water demands. Then it’s just a matter of installing your new water heater and following-up with routine maintenance.
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