Choose Your Water Heater Wisely

You can save power too, with this appliance, if used the right way

Aindrisha Mitra Updated: Oct 14, 2020 19:09:16 IST
Choose Your Water Heater Wisely Photo: Shutterstock

Once you start feeling the nip in the air, know that it’s time for you to invest in a very useful appliance: the water heater. After all, there is hardly a better feeling than a hot-water bath after a long day’s work. 

The therapeutic effects of hot-water baths are well-known, and the knowledge has been passed down centuries. The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations had both public and private baths, which had provisions for hot water. Even the Indus Valley civilization had the Great Bath, a structure believed to have been used for purposes of ritualistic bathing. It’s evident, therefore, that from the dawn of recorded human civilizations, people have always laid a special emphasis on cleanliness, hygiene and bathing. 

After the fall of the Roman empire, the science of thermal bathing remained neglected for centuries. The water heater, as we know it today, was mainly the invention of an English painter Benjamin Waddy Maughan who, in 1868, first designed an early, rather unsafe, version of the instant water heater. Fittingly, he named it the geyser. His invention would go on to inspire Edwin Rudd, a mechanical engineer, who would make the first, storage-tank type gas heater in 1889.  

Subsequent technological advancements over the centuries have simplified the water-heating process and made heaters safer for domestic use. 

Which heater should you choose?  

If you are looking to cut energy costs and expenditure, a tankless water heater, where the water is heated in a tankless unit via a gas burner or electric current, is the right pick. They occupy lesser space and use 30-50 per cent less energy than their storage-type counterparts. Additionally, they can provide, on average, two to five gallons of water per minute, which makes it ideal for households requiring a high volume of hot water.

When it comes to choosing between electric and gas variants of tankless water heaters, it should be noted that a tankless gas water heater is cheap and lasts for a long time. Electric heaters, on the other hand, are more efficient (98per cent or more, compared to the 80-85 per cent efficiency rate of gas heaters). Moreover, if you opt for gas heaters, you must keep in mind the specific venting requirements (which needs to be done professionally) and install a large-diameter gas pipe for the connection.

However, if electricity and gas bills are not a concern, you can opt for tank water heaters, since they are available in more varieties and under different price bands and are easier to install too. However, they can take up much space and may not be able to provide as large an amount of water to multiple people as a tankless heater can. Since the amount of water the tank can store is fixed, make sure you opt for the correct capacity. Above all, make sure you purchase a heater of high quality.

Tip:  Maintain your heating systems well with annual servicing for smooth and steady water flow.

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