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How to Get the Most Out of Your Water Heater

The average water heater contributes over 18% to a household’s total annual energy bills. This means that choosing the right water heater for you and your family is critical. It’s a big investment and there are plenty of water heaters out there, from energy efficient models to tankless heaters. Therefore, when it comes to choosing a water heater, there are a few things you need to think about before you buy.

Some of these considerations should include: how many people are living in your home? How many rooms will your heater be servicing? How often will you need to use the heater? Could you benefit from eco-friendly water heaters?

At Conwy Valley Plumbing, we are experts in a providing and installing a wide range of water heaters. We take pride in offering our clients excellent customer service and even better value for money. So, if you would like to learn more about our water heaters, here is a quick summary of our products and services.

Water Heater Types

Water Heater Types

Heat pump water heaters

Heat pump water heaters don’t generate heat directly. They use electricity to transport heat from one location to another. In the case of ground source heat pumps (GSHP), for example, the pumps are placed within the ground and they absorb heat from the earth. The energy can then be used to suit a variety of purposes, from central heating to hot water. The ground pump then circulates a combination of water and antifreeze throughout the underground pipes. This regulates your garden’s surface temperature and ensures that the pipes will still be functional in the cold winter months.

Overall, these characteristics make GSHP much more energy efficient that the standard water heaters. They basically work like refrigerators in reverse. They are great if you have a basement because it keeps the air dry and removes any damp smells. Moreover, they have the potential to lower your annual fuel bills. Depending on the type of fuel you use, GSHP can also lower your overall carbon emissions from your home.

One of the reasons people choose GSHP is that they’re very low maintenance. Dubbed ‘fit and forget’ technology, the antifreeze component of GSHP help to regulate the pumps throughout the year. For the reasons, heat pumps can be less expensive than their counterparts.

Resistance Water Heater

Resistance water heaters

Unlike heat pump water heaters, resistance water heaters generate heat directly. It heats the water and stores the energy in a well-insulated tank. These types of heaters are easy to install, require no additional vents, and don’t need gas lines. Moreover, resistance water heaters last longer than other tanks which rely on fossil fuels.

If you have an electric resistance heater, you can expect that your tank will come with either a plastic or cement interior coating to prevent corrosion. This helps to improve overall water quality and means that you won’t have expensive maintenance fees in the future. Like GSHP, the resistance water heater also doesn’t have unpleasant smells and is entirely self-contained.

One of the advantages of having a resistance heater is that you have maximum control. Most heaters come with the option to install a timer on your device. This can be useful for people who are interested in turning their heater off during peak energy intervals.

However, it should be noted that electric resistance can often be an expensive venture. They require a large power supply and can account for a significant portion of an individual’s household bills. With this in mind, then, it’s only advisable to use water resistance heaters if you don’t use too much hot water (such as the amount used by a 2-3 sized family unit). It’s also very important to ensure that your resistance heater is well insulated throughout the year.

Tankless Heater

Tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters, or demand water heaters as they are sometimes called, do not use storage tanks. They use either gas or electricity to supply a source of heat. Consequently, a tankless water heater is especially useful because it provides a constant source of energy. When the tap is turned on, the cold water travels through the water heater and a burner; or an electric element heats the water to optimum temperature. They are commonly used because the hot water will never run out.

Electric Demand Water Heater (tankless)

Generally, depending on the model, a tankless water heater will provide 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. However, there are certainly some limitations for users who use gas-powered tankless water heaters. If you use the shower, while running the kitchen tap, then you will likely use heat from one of the water sources. If this is a problem for you, then it’s possible to install 2+ tankless heaters which can be connected to different outlets throughout your home. In addition to this, you can even install individual tankless heaters for specific appliances. This can be very beneficial, for instance, for people who use the washing machine frequently.

While tankless water heaters have greater start up costs, they benefit from having a significantly longer life expectancy than other heaters. You can expect a tankless heater to function for up to 20 years (compared to storage heaters which will last 10-15 years).

Depending on your water usage, tankless water heaters have the potential to be up to 34% more energy efficient than conventional tanks. If you want even better energy savings, then it’s recommended that you install a demand water heater at each individual water source. Additionally, the pilot lights within tankless heaters will vary in life expectancy between different models. To improve efficiency, it’s also recommended that you turn the pilot off whenever possible.

Solar Power Heater

Solar Water heaters

As you may have guessed, solar water heaters rely on the sun to heat the water. Collectors are positioned on the most advantageous part of the home, usually the roof. The water is then taken to a storage tank near the home heater. The solar panels preheat the water before it is heated in the conventional heater. Contrary to general opinion, a solar water heater will function all year round and is not dependent on a hot climate. This means that you can still get hot water throughout the year.

Many people enjoy using solar water heating because it’s a renewable and eco-friendly way of sourcing your energy. Your home will have a lower carbon dioxide emission levels too. In addition to this, you won’t need to be reliant on the ‘major six’ energy suppliers which operate in the UK. This freedom also means that your overall fuel costs can be reduced.

Solar panels

However, if you wish for added security, you can use solar panels in conjunction with a regular boiler system. The advantage of using solar water heaters is that you can supplement your heat with a conventional boiler (if you should require it). Sometimes our customers find this useful during difficult winter months.

Add insulation

If your storage tank gets warm, this means it is losing heat. To prevent excessive heat loss, then it’s important to insulate your water heater with an heat-retaining blanket. It is also advisable to insulate the first six feet of pipes leading to the tank, to prevent the heat from escaping. These measures are increasingly important; especially as the cost of living continues to rise. The better care you take to insulate your heater, the more money you will manage to save. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a hot water jacket on a average-sized water heating can save you between £85-£130 per year. It will also save between 400kg-570kg of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere annually.

Cosy house

Lower the thermostat

If you are interested in lowering your household costs (while caring for your heater) then there are more options too. Some people find that their water temperature is automatically set to 140 degrees. This is what most are set to when first installed in your home. However, it’s not necessary for you to keep your temperatures on this high. It’s expensive and very unpleasant for the environment around us. Reducing the thermostat to 115-120 degrees will save you a considerable amount of energy and will still provide warm water.

Regular Maintenance

Regular Maintenance

In addition to these points, it’s recommended that you maintain your water heater every three months. We say this because some heaters need more maintenance than others. It’s also very important to monitor how effective your heater is running. This process involves draining it slightly to remove some of the sediment in the tank, which would reduce its efficiency. Furthermore, by not maintaining your heater, you increase the likelihood of wear and tear. In some extreme cases, moreover, heaters which are not properly maintained will have bacteria developing in the tank. It is advised that at least once a year, you entirely flush the tank and clean it out.

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of anymore tips on how to get the most out of your water heater? If so, Please leave your comments below.

Plumbing Services

Our Services at Conwy Valley Plumbing

Here at Conwy Valley Plumbing, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to selling, installing, and maintaining a variety of heating devices. In terms of our boilers, for example, we are experts in repairing LPG and oil fired boilers so you know that you’re in safe hands.

There are many factors that you may wish to consider before investing in a domestic heating system. It’s important to consider what function your heater will serve, how many people it will accommodate, and how often it’ll be in use. Only after addressing these issues can you get the most out of your water heating system.

Additionally, there are several types of water heating systems that you can choose from to suit your purpose. From traditional models, like resistance water heaters, to solar-powered water heaters, there really is something for everyone. Moreover, it’s also possible to use different heater types within the same house if you want added security. All of our engineers have been expertly trained to install water heaters and we are happy to work at a time that suits you, not us.

We provide numerous cost effective solutions for buying water heaters at Conwy Valley. When people think about boiler repair, they often worry about extortionate prices and time-consuming maintenance alterations. We pride ourselves in offering very reasonable and competitive prices to ensure that our customers always get the best deal. Put it this way: there’s no point in you investing in a eco-friendly heater to then be bogged down with maintenance costs.

In a nation like Britain, we understand how important it is for our customers to have effective and warm central heating, which is why we promise to install and repair our heaters in a timely manner. We also provide the best quality fittings on the market (no second hand products) and our staff are trained to deal with all problems, no matter how big or small.

If you have any questions, or would just like to learn more about our heating services, please do not hesitate to contact one of our members of staff. You can reach us by phone on 01492 554 000.

Alternatively, please feel free to email us at: sales@conwyvalleyplumbing.co.uk

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