The Different Water Heating Options Available in St. Thomas
Water heating for homes in St. Thomas is important – no one wants to have a cold shower when it is already 20 degrees below zero outside! There are a number of different types of hot water units, they will differ by fuel source, whether or not it has a tank, capacity and whether it is a point of use or whole house unit.
Hot water heater fuel sources
There are two types of fuel sources that water heaters use: gas and electric. The differences between them help homeowners narrow down the choices on which is right for them.
- larger upfront investment when purchasing
- lower ongoing operating cost
- requires a vent to the outside for gas fumes
- sealed combustion or power venting units are safer
- will not be affected by power outages
- lower initial cost upfront than gas units
- they are easy to maintain over the many years you will own them
- no venting to the outside needed
- are capable of heating water quickly
- typically have high energy factor ratings
Taking a look at your space can help determine which of these two will work best for your home. The biggest consideration of all is venting – if you can’t do it, you can’t have a gas water heater.
Water storage options
You can heat your water and store it in an insulated tank until it is needed or have water heated immediately upon need by running it through a series of heating coils in a tankless water heater.
Conventional tank water heater
- low upfront cost
- the tank can fit into a closet, basement or garage
- anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons can be stored
- efficiency ratings vary widely depending on brand, fuel source and model
Tankless water heater
- large upfront investment
- can be hung on a wall to conserve floor space
- works well for homes which are only occupied part time (the cottage up north, for example)
- energy consumption can be as much as 30% less
- you can run out of hot water during times of heavy use
- must be vented to the outside
The main point here is, again, if you can’t vent the fumes to the outside, you can’t have a tankless unit. Beyond that, it will come down to your available space and typical water use. Large homes with high demands at peak time (morning showers) will likely need to have a conventional unit.
Whole house heaters and point of use units
A whole house water heating unit is, quite simply, able to provide hot water for a whole house at all times. They are able to heat water rapidly and will always make sure that your large home or family has hot water available.
A point of use water heating system is a type of unit which will be installed directly below a sink or stored away in a closet. Typically, you will find these used in conjunction with a whole house water heater to make up for hot water needs beyond the capabilities of the whole house unit.
Be sure to calculate your flow rate to determine how much hot water you will need at any one time. This is a big factor in purchasing the right unit for your home. If you have any questions about water heating for your St. Thomas home, please contact us at MyFireplace today – we’re happy to help!