twh1Traditional water heaters are designed to heat and store water in a tank, usually 40 or 50 gallons at a time. When someone in your home takes a shower or bath, the pre-heated water stored in the tank flows to the point of use (the shower head). The tank is filled again with new water from your water source. When the water in the tank cools off, the fuel ,or electricity turns on and heats the tank up again. Then your shower, faucet, dishwasher, or washing machine, hot water is ready for you to use.

Heat Pump Water Heaters:
Hybrid heat pump water heaters are a new, highly efficient way to heat water. They typically cost half as much to operate as traditional electric resistance water heaters, and can save a homeowner as much as $3,000 over the lifetime of the unit. While they heat water, heat pump water heaters also air condition and dehumidify the space around them. 

Electric-Heat-Pump-Water-Heater-Diagram1-largeTo understand the concept of heat pumps, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from a box and expels it into the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater takes the heat from the air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank. They are called “hybrids” because in addition to a heat pump they also have traditional electric resistance heating elements for times when you probably don't think about your water heater until a cold shower suggests you need a new one. How to choose? Storage tanks cost less but tankless heaters save energy by only heating the water you draw. Hybrid electric/heat-pump models and solar water heaters are two newer options. 

Solar water heaters: Solar water heaters also called solar domestic hot water systems can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use sunshine is free. 

How They Work - Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don't.

Solar-Water-HeatersmMost solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.

Solar water heating systems almost always require a backup system for cloudy days and times of increased demand. Conventional storage water heaters usually provide backup and may already be part of the solar system package. A backup system may also be part of the solar collector, such as rooftop tanks with thermosyphon systems. Since an integral-collector storage system already stores hot water in addition to collecting solar heat, it may be packaged with a tankless or demand-type water heater for backup. 


Call Spectrum Plumbing and Heating for more information and a free consultation.

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