For years standard type water heaters have been the standards in homes and businesses everywhere. The tank fills with cold water, the heating element or gas burner turns on to heat the water in the tank, then the hot water sits there until it is needed. The problem is, it doesn't stay hot so the gas or electric heater has to cycle on and off to keep it warm. But what is the alternative? There are a few actually.
Tankless Water Heaters
In a tankless system, the water is heated as it is needed so you are not having to keep the water warm when it is not in use. The concept saves money if you are a low-demand user but if you use a lot of hot water, the tankless system might not keep up with your requirements. This system often flow just two to five gallons a minute through them so more than one person showering or running the dishwasher and shower together is just not going to work. You will need to do a little research to be sure that the system you are considering is up to the task of keeping your home supplied with enough hot water for your family size and needs.
Electric Heat Pump Systems
This alternative hot water system uses heat from the air and intensifies it boosts it to heat the water in the system. Because it uses the heat from the air, it is environmentally friendly but is not good in cool climates. If you are in a warm climate like Hawaii or the southwestern US, a system like this could save you a lot of money and would go a long way to reducing the impact you are having on the environment.
Solar Water Heaters
Another alternative to the old standard tanked hot water heater is a solar heater. This is another great way to save money and reduce the environmental impact you have. These systems use a solar panel on the roof of your home and a circulator pump to more the water through tubing inside the collector. As the sun shines on the roof and collector panel, the water is heated and then stored for later use. Alternatively, there are systems that have solar collectors on the tank itself and use the sun to heat the already stored water. In a warm environment, these systems work well but they are not as effective in colder climates because extreme cold can pull the heat out of the water faster than the sun can heat it.