For as much as they do, it’s very easy to let water heaters slip from your mind. At least until your shower is freezing cold, or your dishwasher won’t produce clean glassware. And sometimes that means you’re scrambling to find the best replacement unexpectedly, unsure where to look. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Memphis, we understand how this happens, and we’re here to help.
You will want to consider a few factors, like the tank style, fuel type, and size of the water heater. Each type of water heater has a different tank with individual advantages and disadvantages depending on your preferences. The same can be said for the fuel type since you have multiple energy sources to choose from. And the size of the unit you install will depend largely on the capacity to meet your household needs.
Popular Water Heaters in The Memphis Area
Traditional Water Heater
Also known as storage water heaters, the traditional systems are widely known since they’ve been around the longest. They store anywhere from 30-50 gallons of water in a tank that is heated consistently so that it is readily available for use.
Pros of traditional water heaters include:
- The initial installation and purchase cost of traditional tanks can be nearly half the price of other styles, such as tankless
- A simpler style with fewer complications means there are fewer parts or components that will need future repairs
- Lower cost of labor for replacing the unit when it reaches the end of its lifespan
- Water will continue to empty from the tank, refill, and begin heating again
Cons of traditional water heaters include:
- A higher utility cost to run regularly
- The tank takes up more storage space than other heaters
- You can run out of hot water and end up waiting for more
- A shorter lifespan of around 10-15 years
Tankless Water Heater
Using either electric or gas as the heat source, tankless systems heat water when you need it, which is why they are also known as on-demand water heaters.
Pros of tankless water heaters include:
- Since they are more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters, tankless units save you money in the long run
- A longer lifespan with a minimum of twenty years
- The smaller size makes for convenient storage options
- Never running out of hot water!
Cons of tankless water heaters include:
- A higher cost for purchase and installation
- Upgrading a traditional system to a tankless unit is a complex process that adds to the initial cost
- An improperly sized tank puts you at risk for inconsistent temperatures
Solar Water Heater
Sometimes called solar domestic hot water systems, there are two categories of solar water heaters: Active and passive. Active solar water heaters move water through the system with circulating pumps, which passive systems do not do.
Active systems continue to fall into two types: Direct and indirect circulation systems. Direct circulation systems work well in Memphis since it’s not as common for freezing pipes. Indirect circulation systems use pumps to circulate a heat-transfer fluid to heat the water that will warm the water to go into the home.
Since passive systems do not have pumps, they are less expensive than their active counterparts and last longer. But this also leads to them functioning less efficiently.
The two types of passive systems include the integral collector-storage passive system and the thermosyphon system. The integral systems utilize the sun to heat the water before flowing from the tank into a plumbing system, while a thermosyphon system collects water on the roof to flow into a plumbing system.
Pros of solar water heaters include:
- Usage in any climate, including when days are cloudy since solar energy is renewable
- The cost of using the sun’s energy in comparison to electrical or gas power is fractional
- The ability to directly warm the water instead of heating a heat transfer fluid
- Options to choose which style works best for your home and budget
Cons of solar water heaters include:
- Significant weight being added to your roof
- A more complicated installation process and higher initial cost
- Impeding buildings or vegetation can become an issue
Heat Pump Water Heater
A strong alternative to standard electric water heaters, heat pump water heaters save significant energy. The heat pump moves warm air from outside into the water heater tank to safely use electrical power without the resistance that a traditional water heater has. Essentially, it’s moving the heat rather than generating it, saving you money while efficiently providing hot water.
Our friendly team is always here to talk through your Memphis water heater options!