How to Choose the Right Gas Water Heaters for Your Home
A water heater is an appliance you turn on when you need hot water for dishwashing, bathing, or laundry. All gas water heaters use natural gas (or propane) to heat water in either a tank or a coil. You can install a gas water heater in your own home or you can buy a pre-assembled model.
How to choose a gas water heater
When choosing a gas water heater, you need to include the following:
1. The size and energy efficiency of the tank or coil. The capacity refers to how much water the unit can store. The energy factor (EF) is a number between 0 and 100 that tells you how efficient the model is compared with standard gas water heaters. You get more hot water per amount of natural gas (or propane) if you choose a high EF model.
2. The type of gas valve, thermostat, and temperature/pressure relief valve.
3. If a tank water heater, whether it should have an integral tank or whether you want to install a separate one. Integral tanks can be made of steel, plastic, or fiberglass and can have an insulated jacket to help conserve energy.
Which Gas Water Heater Do You Need? Which One Is Best For You?
The main difference between a tank water heater, a coil water heater, and a hybrid water heater is how they heat the water. A tank water heater could be a gravity feed or an electric (pumped) type. A coil heat is the most popular because it is less expensive and easier to install, but it does not require a vent pipe for safety. A hybrid water heater can use either of these technologies for heating the water. It has a tank with small pipes that heat the water like a coil system, but it also has a water tank to store hot water from the main system. The main advantage of a hybrid is that it incorporates both heating methods into one unit so there are no added costs for access to hot water storage.
Tank Water Heaters- Tank Water Heaters could be either gravity feed or electric (pumped). A gravity feed tank uses gravity to push the heated water through your fixtures. There is no electric pump needed. A tankless water heater, also known as a “tankless” water heater, has no storage tank. The pump pulls hot water from the main plumbing lines and pushes it through the faucet. The tankless water heater is more expensive than the tank type but is simpler and requires less energy to operate.
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HOW DO THEY WORK? A tank water heater stores hot water in a large tank. The water is heated by either natural gas or propane, then piped to the storage tank. When you use hot water from the faucet, cold water enters the tank from below and mixes with the hot water. The temperature of the mixed water is regulated by mixing more hot water into the tank or by letting out some hot water from the tank. A coil water heater heats water in a large coil of pipe. Heat from gas is transferred to the cold water as it passes over the coil, and then the heated water is piped to the faucet for use. A hybrid water heater uses elements of both a tank and coil design, such as a small pipe coil wrapped around a tank.
HOW DO WATER HEATERS WORK? Most water heaters operate in one of two ways: either by burning natural gas or by heating the water electrically. You can tell which type you have by looking at the connection to the gas line. If you have a gas-fired water heater, the incoming gas line will connect directly to the control panel. If it is an electric unit, there will be a separate “power cord” coming from the panel to an electrical outlet.