The William G. Day Company installs and services all major brands and types of water heaters. We work with each customer to help them make the best choice for their individual needs and families. Our customers receive up front proposals, often with various options to help find the right system for their needs and budget. We continuously work to exceed expectations and increase customer satisfaction, maintaining lifelong relationships with our customers.
Selecting a New Water Heater
You have a lot to consider when selecting a new water heater for your home. You should choose a water heating system that will not only provide enough hot water but also that will do so energy efficiently, saving you money. This includes considering the different types of water heaters available and determining the right size and fuel source for your home.
Here’s a look at the different technologies and fuel options available as well as the manufacturers that we feel give us a leg up on the competition.
Demand Water Heaters – Tankless
It is possible to eliminate standby heat losses and reduce energy consumption by 20% to 30% with demand or continuous (tankless) water heaters. Cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, and either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water, as needed. With these systems, hot water is always available.
The idea behind a tankless system is that it heats the water as you need it instead of continually heating water stored in a tank. Tankless heaters have been the norm in much of Europe and Japan for quite some time, but they haven't gained popularity until recently in the United States -- largely due to the green movement. If you're a good candidate for a tankless system, you can save a substantial amount of money every year on your monthly bills while at the same time conserving natural gas. Tankless heaters also last about five to 10 years longer than a tank heater, take up much less space and provide you with an unlimited amount of hot water.
Conventional Storage Water Heaters
How They Work
A single-family storage water heater offers a ready reservoir—from 20 to 80 gallons—of hot water. It operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap. To replace that hot water, cold water enters the bottom of the tank, ensuring that the tank is always full.
Conventional storage water heater fuel sources include natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and electricity. Natural gas and propane water heaters basically operate the same. A gas burner under the tank heats the water. A thermostat opens the gas valve as the water temperature falls. The valve closes when the temperature rises to the thermostat's setpoint. Oil-fired water heaters operate similarly, but they have power burners that mix oil and air in a vaporizing mist, ignited by an electric spark. Electric water heaters have one or two electric elements, each with its own thermostat. With two electric elements, a standby element at the bottom of the tank maintains the minimum thermostat setting while the upper demand element provides hot water recovery when demand heightens.
Because water is constantly heated in the tank, energy can be wasted even when a hot water tap isn't running. This is called standby heat loss. Only tankless water heaters—such as demand water heaters and tankless coil water heaters—avoid standby heat losses. However, you can find some storage water heater models with heavily insulated tanks, which significantly reduce standby heat losses, lowering annual operating costs. Look for models with tanks that have a thermal resistance (R-Value) of R-12 to R-25.
Gas and oil water heaters also have venting-related energy losses. Two types of water heaters—a fan-assisted gas water heater and an atmospheric sealed- combustion water heater—reduce these losses. The fan-assisted gas water heater uses a draft-induced fan that regulates the air that passes through the burner, which minimizes the amount of excess air during combustion, increasing efficiency. The atmospheric sealed-combustion water heater uses a combustion and venting system that is totally sealed from the house.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump water heaters use electricity to transfer heat from the air to the water, instead of using electric elements to generate heat directly. Heat pump water heaters can be purchased as integral units with built-in water storage tanks or as add-ons that can be retrofitted to existing water heater tanks. These systems tend to have high initial cost, operate best in moderate temperature locations, and typically require at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the water heaters. For efficient operation, they should be placed in areas having excess heat, such as furnace rooms; they do not work well in a cold space.