Top 5 Types of Water Heaters Explained in Detail

Water heaters aren’t really the sort of thing you buy many times throughout your whole lifetime. So, it is perfectly normal to not know everything about them when you finally do need one. However, if you need one now, and don’t know everything you need to know, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll use this article to go through the different types of water heaters, and you can decide which is the perfect one for your needs. You can easily have hot water on demand!

5 Primary Types of Water Heaters

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater

Now, we know we’ve already mentioned this as our top choice for regular home owners, but let’s break it down further as to why we believe it to be the most pragmatic choice.


With storage tank water heaters, you’ll be able to have your water reach up to temperature of 120 degrees in Fahrenheit. This system comes with an insulated tank that holds two primary valves. One controls the temperature and the other controls pressure. With water temperatures reaching over 120 degrees in Fahrenheit, you’ll easily be able to take warm and soothing showers or baths on cold days. The pressure valve is coordinated to help stabilize the mechanism once the pressure reaches over 150 PSI. This is all done in a closed loop system. This type of heating system is the most common in households, and has become very popular among people. Unfortunately, with the inclusion of the tank, you’re limited to a specific amount of heated water at a certain time, and once the tank is empty, you’ll need to turn it back on to heat more water up.

Water Heater Maintenance

Conventional water heaters usually last up till 12 years with regular use, which is quite a long time. This also depends a lot on the quality of the product you have. However, if you want to extend the lifespan of your water heater to its full potential, cleaning it twice every year is the best way. You’ll be able to remove any form of corrosion and sedimentation from the tank with each cleaning you do, and this will always put your mind at ease. While it is good to clean out your tank in this routine, it isn’t a requirement as they last long anyways. So, you might not have to bother at all when it comes to this mechanism!

Water Heater Pros and Cons

The benefit or pros of having a conventional storage water heating system is its ability to last for a long time with minimal maintenance. They are also very affordable, and people have become very familiar with using them properly.

Using the storage tank provides you with one primary con, which is the limited capacity of water. This will mainly depend on the size of the tank you have acquired (i.e. 60 gallon tank will give you 60 gallons of hot water before needing to be refilled). Depending on the system you have acquired, you’ll need some more time again, to refill the tank, and make sure the water is hot again. This can take from 30 minutes to an hour.

Solar Power Water Heater

Solar Power Water Heater with background removebg preview

Another type of water heater are the solar water heaters. These are much newer forms of heating systems, when compared to the conventional water heating system.


While it’s a much new water heater system, solar water heaters also use tanks. For this system, you’ll need to have solar panels fitted to the roof of your home, and this heat energy is then converted to heat the water stored in your tank. This uses a closed system in the mechanism, and works extremely well for people who live in warm climates. However, you’re going to need to have a backup plan for this method, since you won’t have sunlight pouring down everyday of the year. It is still one of the most cost efficient methods out there for people who are in the most optimized places for its use.

Water Heater Maintenance

The main maintenance of this system  is also dependent on the storage tank it has. It is best to clean it out twice a year, however, that isn’t a necessity. If you want to optimize the potential for clean water in your system though, it is advisable to clean it out to prevent sedimentation or corrosion for as long as possible.

Water Heater Pros and Cons

The main benefit of this new water heater system is how cost efficient this can become for you. For people who live in warmer climates, you can use the initial investment on the solar panels to ensure you have hot water in your home for a good period of the year. It’s also a great way for environmentally conscious people to play their part in the community, with the help of a free energy source!

As for the drawbacks with this method, you’ll find yourself in need of a back up system in place because you won’t have sunny days every season of the year. This water heating system also uses a tank, which means you’ll be limited to a specific amount of water every time you turn it on. The solar water heater can only heat up the water based on the weather outside.

Gas Condensing Water Heater

Gas Condensing Water Heater

The gas condensing water heater system is another innovative way of heating up the water in your house, and based on how your home operates, it can be the most efficient system for you.


This also uses a tank system which holds the heated water for you to use. However, the energy efficiency of this system is very good because it uses the natural gas already produced in your home. Everyone uses ovens, stoves or other utilities that produce natural gas, and this gas is used by the water heater mechanism. There is a coil below the water tank, which uses the gas that is directed towards it, thus heating the water in the tank. If your home produces a lot of gas, you’ll end up creating a very energy efficient system, which actually uses the byproduct that is already created, giving it more usage.

Water Heater Maintenance

Since this is also a tank system, you’ll need to ensure the tanks are cleaned at least once a year, if not twice. However, it also has the valves and the gas lines as well that need to be cleaned as well.

Water Heater Pros and Cons

For any home that uses natural gas, this comes as a very good cost efficient method of heating up your water. Not to mention, you’d be getting gas anyways, this just provides it with an additional purpose, allowing you to make better use of the whole system.

The con of this method is that any home that doesn’t utilize natural gas will find it completely useless. Not to mention, you’ll also have the additional responsibilities of cleaning the gas valves along with the tank used for this water heating system.

Tankless or On-demand Water Heater

Tankless Water Heater

Another modern advancement in the water heating system brings about the tankless water heater, which can heat water up instantly and is also known as the on-demand water heater.


This type of water heater can be very useful for your home, as they can heat up the water instantly, with the help of coils that fill up with water. What’s great is that you can even use these in large homes for big families, without ever having to worry about cold water. A tankless water heater however, requires gas or electricity to run efficiently. If your home doesn’t have the capacity to run this system for either of these energy sources, you may have to make renovations, which can become expensive.

Water Heater Maintenance

These tankless water heaters usually run for up to 8 to 10 years. Some form of cleaning is advisable to avoid any form of problems with the running system. However, you’ll find that these are smaller and can be a bit harder to clean.

Water Heater Pros and Cons

As far as water heater types go, tankless water heaters are very energy efficient. With the ability to heat your water up instantly, you’re given the capability of having hot water running in your home, throughout the day, irrelevant of the size of your home and you won’t have to rely on storage water.

Tankless water heaters require either gas or electricity to run, and if your house cannot support the system beforehand, you’ll have to make large renovations in order to keep it running efficiently. Otherwise, you’ll end up with weak heating systems that don’t do the job and waste energy and money.

Hybrid Water Heater / Heat Pump Water Heater

Hybrid Water Heater

Hybrid water heaters or heat pump water heaters are electric water heaters, but not in the sense that they use electricity to heat the water. Instead the electricity serves to only operate the machine, as it uses a different mechanism.


Heat pump water heaters use the pumps to utilize the heat in the ground and the air to produce hot water. These types of water heaters can be very efficient for households, as they consume a lot less electricity when compared to other styles of water heaters. This is also a tank storage system, and the electric heat pump also needs to be placed on top of the mechanism, which will make you require quite a bit of space to set this whole system up.

Water Heater Maintenance

Even with this system, the main form of maintenance you will be bothered with, is the necessity of cleaning the tank up to twice a year, in order to maximize the usage.

Water Heater Pros and Cons

These types of heaters will save you money in the long run, as they consume a much lower amount of electricity to run, as opposed to other heaters. They are also very efficient with energy.

Even though these heaters produce hot water with great efficiency, overall, they are one of the most expensive types of water heaters out there. Not to mention, since they use the heat from the ground and air, they will require a warm space to be placed in, along with the fact that they require a large space to operate as well.

Factors to Consider When Buying Water Heaters

You’ll always need to make sure you’ve taken the right factors into consideration when buying a water heater, whether you’re going for an electric heat pump water heater or gas water heaters for your home. What are these factors?

Storage Size

Making sure you have the correct tank for your heater at home is a very important factor. One great way of making sure you have the correct storage size in your tank is to follow the first hour rating (FHR). This method is done by counting the number of people in your home and multiplying that by twelve. If your house has 3 people, then you’ll be safe to buy a 36 gallon tank. Thus, you don’t have to make a random guess and waste your money buying a tank that has a capacity of 55 gallons. There are also a few other methods, but this can really help you narrow it down without much guessing involved.


Warranties are a very important factor to consider whenever you’re making a long term purchase. When it comes to heaters, you’ll want to ensure you get the best deal possible. Most provide warranties that can go up till 10 years. However, if you can manage to find deals that last longer, we suggest you get them. Since these are a pivotal part of your daily life, you’ll want to make sure you get the best deal. A water heater may break at any point and cost water damage, so it’s best you be ready!

Drain Valves

The drain valves of your heater are important for many reasons. They are there to help you drain the heater in the case of maintenance. The two most common options are brass or plastic. While this decision doesn’t affect much, it’s still good to gauge an idea of what you want. For example, brass is prone to corrosion whereas plastic is not. However, brass is more durable than plastic. You may need to pay some attention to this choice, but either choice is fine at the end of the day.

Mineral Buildup

Mineral buildup occurs a lot in any device that uses water or holds water. Thus, your any tank system is very prone to a mineral buildup. For this, many tanks come fitted with anti-scale mechanisms which help move the gallons of water inside. The movement reduces the amount of minerals that build up inside, and can help with the maintenance of your tank.

The Takeaway

We hope you’ve managed to come away with more than enough knowledge to help yourself pick out the perfect choice of heater from these different types of water heaters we’ve shown. Whether you want tank models or tankless models or an electric water heater, always make sure you have all the information ready, and that you’ve taken all the factors into consideration for the water heating systems. If you want to consume less energy, then you may want to look into the conventional methods, whereas if the energy consumption isn’t a problem, then maybe one of the newer methods will appeal to you more. Hopefully you get the perfect one that heats the water!