A hot water system, also known as a storage heater, is an instant domestic water heating appliance which uses a pre-heated water storage tank to optimize heating efficiency and deliver instant, even delivery of hot water into your home. Traditional storage water heaters employ various fuels, such as natural gas, electricity, propane, and coal. Some are better than others, depending on where you live, the cost of energy (or lack thereof) in your area, and your individual preferences. The cost is also partially determined by how much you need heated water in a given time. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of the hot water system, you may be thinking about purchasing.
Natural gas and propane heaters are usually the most cost effective, but they are also the most polluting. In addition to the pollution they create, however, there is an increased risk for fire in an unvented gas heater since carbon monoxide can become present when natural gas is present in the fuel lines. A pre-heated water tank eliminates this risk because it provides an instant source of heat and doesn’t rely on oxygen to supply the heat required. As a result, these types of systems often receive an energy efficiency star rating of five or six on the scale used to determine the efficiency of appliances.
An unvented storage heat pump is another energy-efficient option that delivers high levels of heat via water circulation without the need for fuel. These systems are generally installed in the attic, where heat is needed the most, but are also suitable for off grid applications, such as heating a pool or hot tub. Because the water tank is not vented to the outside atmosphere, there is no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning which comes from combustion of natural gas or propane. In addition, heat pumps without a tank require no maintenance and do not require electricity to operate, making them highly economic options for homeowners on a budget.