Water Heaters 101: Everything You Should Know 

Water heaters are one of the most essential appliances in our homes—they provide us with hot water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. But how do they work? And what should you do if yours starts to malfunction?  

Keep reading for our guide outlining everything you need to know about water heaters. Ready? Let’s go!  

How Water Heaters Work 

Cold water enters the large tank of gas-powered water heaters by a dip tube. A gas burner heats the water while releasing toxic gas through a cylinder in the center of the tank.

The surrounding water is heated as this toxic gas is sent up and out of your tank. Hot water in your home is delivered by a network of pipes to the appropriate location, such as the shower.

The most common types of water heaters are gas and electric.  

Electric water heaters work similarly but the main difference is that they are plugged into an electrical power supply to heat their burners.  

What Types of Water Heaters are Available?  

There are a few different options to choose from when purchasing a water heater including: 

#1. Tank Water Heaters  

The traditional water heaters that you are most likely familiar with are tank water heaters. You may even have a tank water system in your home.  

These water heaters are either powered by natural gas or electricity and function by heating a large batch of water before storing it in a tank.

#2. Tankless Water Heaters  

Tankless water heaters are ideal for those that value efficiency above all else. Although tank water heaters are reliable, their standby heat loss can be a big efficiency issue.  

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand when you need it rather than storing it in a tank which allows for greater overall efficiency.  

Learn More > Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons 

#3. Heat Pump Water Heaters  

Instead of creating heat directly, they use electricity to transfer heat from one location to another. These water heaters are much less harmful to the environment than tank or tankless water heaters since they consume less electricity.

#4. Solar Water Heaters 

Though not the most common, solar water heaters use solar panels to heat the water that is delivered to the storage tank. There are two kinds of solar water heaters available: 

  • Active Systems: Circulate water through collectors directly into your home or circulate non-freezing heat-transfer fluid through the collectors, heating the water and then delivering it to your home.  
  • Passive Systems: Preheat the water in batch systems or collect and store warm water at the top of the tank while the colder water sinks to the bottom.  

Choosing a Water Heater 

Now that we’ve discussed the types of water heaters, which type is best for you? Well, your water heating needs are going to be different than another household’s, so you should consider these things when deciding: 

  • The size of your home 
  • How many people live in your home 
  • The potential fuel source (gas or electricity) 
  • The number of appliances that use hot water 
  • Whether efficiency is important to you 

Ultimately, these questions will help you decide which water heater system is right for you. Need help deciding? Our team at Best Home Services is happy to help! Give us a call today! 

How Hot Should Water Heaters Be?  

The lowest temperature we recommend setting your water heater to is 120° F which is safe enough to protect your family against the life-threatening bacteria that can cause Legionnaires disease. Anything higher than 140° F can scald sensitive skin, and allow for more standby heat losses.  

Water heaters should be set from 120° F to 140° F.  

Learn More > Help! My Water Heater Isn’t Working! 

The Importance of Water Heater Maintenance  

No matter what kind of water heater you have, it is important to have periodic maintenance performed to keep it running efficiently.  

Here are some quick ways to maintain your water heater in between professional maintenance visits: 

  • Keep the area around the water tank clean 
  • Check for any leaks or rusting pipes 
  • Make sure it is flushed at least once a year  

Tampa Water Heater Maintenance  

If you need a new water heater installed or need to schedule your annual maintenance visit, give our team at Best Home Services a call! We can help you decide which water heater is right for your home and needs, and will ensure that it is running at peak efficiency all year long. And don’t worry, if it malfunctions, we can help with that too! 

Contact our 5-star rated team at Best Home Services for all your water heater needs; 844-921-2833!    

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