A water heater is a system that converts cold tap into warm or hot water. This device is best used in places that get a lot of snow and households that require unlimited access to hot water.
Water heaters are available in two types and each one has its own pros and cons. The kind of water heater that you installed in your home will affect your access to hot water. Let’s take a look at the two types of water heaters:
Types of Water Heaters
Shower heaters come in whole house systems or point-of-use systems:
Whole House System
This is the most popular type of shower heater because it generates hot water in various parts of the home. This system features a central system to generate hot water. It has to be hardwired into your electrical or pipe system during installation, which means you have to hire professionals to do this for you.
Whole house system is best used when gas and water pipes of the home are already in place. However, do note that some pipe systems require specific water heater requirements. Also, the venting needs of the water heating system will affect its placement. For instance, if the system is vented through the wall, the vent has to be at least 3 feet from any window. On the other hand, if you want the water heater to be vented through the roof, you have to make sure that you can install a vent long enough for optimal operation. Sometimes it’s not possible to install a large water heater in the basement of a 2 storey home so keep this in mind before getting this system.
Point-of-Use Water Heater
A point of use water heater or POU is a system that does not come with its own central heater. Instead, it comes with a mechanism that heats water on demand. This water heater is perfect for the sink, shower, bath or any spot in the home where hot water is needed. POUs are often used to heat water at a fixture that’s located far from a central water heater.
POUs are best used near faucets or appliances that require hot water. This way, the temperature remains hot because there is reduced heat loss as the water travels through the pipeline. Although POUs are much easier to install than a whole house water heater system, it has to be configured into your electrical wiring to operate. You can install this water heater on your own (assuming that you know your way around your electrical system) or get someone to do it for you. The location and configuration of the electrical panel will dictate the best places to install the water heater.
Our advice is to not install the system under the air conditioning or water pipes that are prone to leaks and drips. In addition, do not install the water heater near or above an electrical box because a short to a leak could lead to a house fire.
The Best Places to Install Water Heaters
Water heaters come in different types and each one has to be used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to get the most out of the device. For instance, the point of use water heaters must be installed to the nearest water source to guarantee a steady flow of heated water. It is not supposed to be installed several meters away from the faucet because the time it takes for the heated water to travel to the faucet will reduce the water temperature, resulting in tepid water. Below are the best places to install water heaters:
Nothing beats a hot shower especially on a freezing morning that’s why water heaters are typically installed in the shower. A whole house water heater can be used to provide hot water in the shower but there’s no way to say if you’ll get a steady access of hot water while showering when one of your family members is also using hot water in the other room.
You see, whole house shower systems tend to fall short of providing hot water to all water sources at the same time. That’s because the tank requires more time to store hot water and once used up, cold water will start seeping into the tank, giving an unpleasant shock of cold water in the shower.
To prevent this, we recommend using point of use tankless water heaters in the shower. This water heater guarantees a constant flow of hot water when needed. Also, because the water heater is installed close to the shower, the travel time in which the hot water flows in the shower is shorter so heat loss is reduced significantly. According to the California Energy Commission, hot water from a traditional water heater (whole-house system) travels three times longer than hot water from a POU tankless heater.
A water heater installed directly into the washing machine lets you access hot water when washing your clothes. Hot water does more than just kill bacteria, it also boosts the performance of your washer. That’s why it pays to install a water heater into your washing machine. Of course, using hot water for laundry means spending more on your energy bill. For reference, an average washing machine uses more than 5,000 gallons of water each year. If you and the rest of your family members do laundry at home, your washer will consume more than 5,000 gallons of water in a year.
When it comes to the right type of water heater to install in the shower, you can’t go wrong with either tankless or storage water heaters. But if say, you’re trying to cut down your energy consumption, opt for the tankless water heater because the device shuts itself off when hot water is not needed. Traditional water heaters continue to run even when hot water is not in use and this will lead to higher monthly bill. Point of use tankless water heater will save you about 2% to 5% on your water bill each year.
The Kitchen Sink
Most homes have kitchen sinks that supply hot water and this has a lot of practical uses during food preparation and cleanup. A water heater installed in the sink is a wonderful addition to any kitchen. And apart from the kitchen sink, you can also install a water heater in the bathroom sink.
A water heater is an incredibly versatile device, one that enhances your way of living while adding value to your home. But just like any home appliance, it’s important to know how to use a water heater the right way to maximize the device. We hope that this article helped you make the best choice for your needs!