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How to Decide the Best Type of Water Heater for Your Home

by B.Annie on October 29, 2018

Water heaters are undoubtedly one the hardest working appliances in your home. They are responsible for heating the entire supply of your home’s water. Anyone that has suffered through a cold shower first thing in the morning can tell your how important your water heater is. It is helpful to research the different types of water heaters available, as there are many. Here’s how to determine the right type of water heater for your home.

Water heater option #1 -conventional storage tank water heater

Conventional storage tanks are the most popular type of water heater for your home. Their fuel sources include natural gas, propane, fuel oil and electricity. They can hold 20-80 gallons of water. As the name suggests, the tank stores constantly heated water until it is ready to use. Cold water enters from the bottom of the tank and is released from the top of the tank once hot. This type of tank features two different valves. The temperature control valve releases heat and moderates temperatures. While  the pressure control valve lowers the pressure when it reaches about 150psi. This heater is relatively inexpensive to purchase and has a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Water heater option #2 – tankless (on demand water heater)

As this heater’s name suggests, it does not have a tank. Instead, the heater uses powerful flashes of heat against coils of water to heat your water quickly, as you need it. Their fuel sources include natural gas or propane. This type of heater is beneficial for large families who use a lot of hot water at the same time. They are more energy efficient. They only heat your water on demand, rather than holding heated water constantly, even when you are not using it. There is a larger upfront cost with these types of heaters. However, they can last up to 20 years and take up significantly less space than the conventional tank.

Water heater option #3 – heat pump (hybrid)

The heat pump tanks use heat from the air or the ground and transfer it to your water. Their fuel sources include electricity and geothermal energy, and only use electricity to move heat from its external source, not to generate heat. While they tend to cost more than standard electric water heaters,  they use about 60% less energy, which saves you money in the long run. Heat pump water heaters last about 13-15 years.

Water heater option #4 -solar powered

Solar powered water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat your water. This type of water heater is said to be the most energy efficient of them all. Water is heated by solar collector plates, and then stored in a tank. There are two types of solar water heating systems; active and passive. Active solar heating requires mechanical power to circulate heat, and passive absorbs solar energy to allow heat to circulate by natural convection. While these tanks are incredibly energy efficient and environmentally friendly, they are also very expensive. They almost always require a backup plan. Although they work particularly well for homes that are in sunny, humid climates, they need to be able to continue to run on cloudy, gray days as well.

Water heater option #5-condensing (gas water heater)

Condensing, or gas water heaters, funnel heated exhaust from the natural gas system and uses it to heat the water. Consequently, little energy is used to heat the water for your home and is held in a tank, much like conventional water heater. This heater option is the best for homes that use primarily natural gas as its energy source. Condensing water heaters typically also work best for families that require over 55 gallons of water, as it is not easily available in smaller models.

Regardless of the type of water heater you choose, there are a few considerations when deciding which one is right for your home.


When choosing your water heater, you should always pay close attention to the warranty as they can vary significantly in cost and length. It is suggested by professionals, like the ones at Winstar, to choose the longest warranty available because water heaters could possibly break.

Gas-lined tanks

Gas lining inside water heaters protect it from corrosion and subsequently lengthening the life of the heater.

Digital displays

They are modern features to consider for your water heater. This display option allows you to conveniently adjust your water heater settings to fit your personal needs.


Determining the capacity of the tank for your water heater depends on the number of people in your household and their usage frequency.

There are pros and cons to each type of water heater out there and the professionals at Winstar can help you determine which model is right for your home and your family. They can answer any water heater questions you may have, show you how to maintain your water heater so it lasts longer  and make sure you never have a cold shower again!