Everything You Need To Know About Different Types Of Water Heaters

At Polar Bear Mechanical, our team of HVAC experts is dedicated to providing you the best HVAC service in Colorado Springs. With over 40 years of experience, we can obtain the tools and knowledge necessary to solve any HVAC concerns. Whether you’re interested in swamp coolers, or think your furnace needs to be serviced, our team is ready to help!

One of our goals at Polar Bear Mechanical is to educate the community of Colorado Springs. In addition to working with you every step of the way, we want to provide reliable resources to expand your HVAC knowledge. The more you know about your unique HVAC system, the better equipped you’ll be to know how to maintain your HVAC system and when you should schedule check-ups.

How Do Water Heaters Work?

Different types of water heaters have different benefits and downfalls. Depending on your space and needs, one type of water heater may be better suited for you than another.

  1. Storage Tank Water Heater
    • These types of water heaters remain the primary water heating system for homes. Conventional storage water heaters work by having a reservoir that’s full and ready for use. When you turn on your hot water, the water heater releases hot water from the top of the tank. Cold water then enters through the bottom of the tank to replace whatever was used. One of the main disadvantages is standby heat loss. Standby heat loss is when energy is wasted due to the water in the tank constantly being heated, even if you’re not running hot water.
  2. Tankless Water Heater
    • Tankless water heaters, also known as on demand water heaters, work without the use of a storage tank. Tankless water heaters provide hot water only when it’s needed. When you turn your hot water on, on demand water heaters work by heating the water as it travels through a pipe to the desired location. The water is usually heated by a gas burner or an electric element. One of the main advantages of installing a tankless water heater is the savings that you’ll experience due to the elimination of standby heat loss. 
  3. Heat Pump Water Heater
    • Heat pump water heaters, or hybrid water heaters, are another option. If you live in a warmer climate and have all electric appliances, this may be a great option for you. Heat pump water heaters use the heat that’s drawn from the outside air and pulled into the appliance’s evaporator coil. Then, a heat exchanger heats the water within the tank before delivering it to the desired location.
  4. Solar Water Heater
    • If you already have solar panels, or are considering installing them, then a solar water heater may be the best solution for you. There are many types of solar water heaters.
      • Direct Circulation System: With this type of active solar water heating system, water flows through the solar collector. Once the water is heated, it flows back into the tank. This system works best in warmer climates where water has no chance of freezing. 
      • Indirect Circulation System: Imagine a loop between the solar collector and the water storage tank. The tank is usually filled with water and another material that lowers the freezing point. Then, the liquid is moved through the solar collector and back to the water tank, where the temperature of the water increases. Due to the way that an indirect circulation system operates, this type of solar water heater is great for residences in colder climates.
      • Integral Collector-Storage Passive System: This type of solar water heater is extremely efficient, but it’s main disadvantage is that it’s limited to certain climates. They work best in climates where the temperature rarely, if at all, falls below freezing. Think of a box with a storage tank inside, and the top of the box being covered with special heat transfer material. The sun’s radiation passes through the material on the top of the box, and heat’s the water in the storage tank.
      • Thermosyphon System: These types of solar water heater systems work because hot water will rise while cool water will fall. As the water in the solar collector is heated by the sun, it rises to the top of the collector. The heated water is then stored in the solar collector until you turn on your hot water.
  5. Condensing Tankless Water Heater
    • A condensing water heater is another tankless water heater option. Water is heated as it runs through the heat exchanger in the water heater unit. The main appeal of a condensing water heater is the cost savings that users will experience due to the higher energy efficiency of these types of water heaters.
  6. Point Of Use Water Heater
    • This type of water heater is often used to increase a fixture’s water temperature that is located far away from the main water heater. They come in both tank and tankless styles. Cold water is heated using an electric heating element until it reaches the desired temperature. These water heaters are unique because they provide hot water for a single fixture. They’re designed to be installed close to the fixture it will be used for, and provide hot water while reducing wait time and wasted water.

Explore Your Water Heater Options

Our HVAC experts are ready to help you and answer all of your water heater questions. Whether you think your water heater may need to be replaced, or have questions about which water heater would be the best for your home, we are here to help! We’ll make sure you have the most efficient water heater system possible; it’ll be able to heat water as cold as the Arctic. Give us a call today and let us fulfill your water heater needs.

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