These days, there are several types of water heaters, all have their pros and cons. It pays to do your homework (there’s plenty of information on the web) and take the advice of a few knowledgeable, licensed and qualified plumbers. There are too many variables to get into details in a short email like this, so here’s a quick summary.
Efficiency ratings can go as low as 40% all the way up to 98%. Of course, you get what you pay for.
1) Tankless on demand water heaters are the most expensive and highly efficient and can produce hot water all day long and will never run out.
2) Indirect fired water heaters are a great choice and can be very efficient while producing high quantities of hot water.
3) Plate heat exchangers can be very efficient and can produce hot water continuously and are minimal in cost.
4) Conventional tank style water heaters are mid-efficiency and can run out of hot water and have a relatively short lifespan.
5) Tankless coils (contained in a conventional boiler, these are not on demand heaters) can have fluctuating temperatures and can be inefficient, especially in the summer and especially when they’re older.
One of the most important things to know about water heaters is when to replace them. If you have a conventional tank style water heater older than 12 years, seriously consider replacing it right away on a preventive maintenance basis. The downside is a flood if the tank bursts. Plan ahead, do your research, and discuss it with at least one licensed and qualified plumber. In fact, consider meeting a few plumbers to get differing ideas and opinions. Making the right choice can make a big difference in your wallet and comfort for years to come.
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