Many homeowners take hot water for granted and don’t think about their hot water heater until something goes wrong. If your hot water heater fails, the last thing you’ll want to do is put off buying a new one, which is why it’s important to know the different types of water heaters.
Though indirect water heaters aren’t new, they’ve become increasingly popular over the last several years as more focus has been put onto the environment and energy efficiency. These types of water heaters can help save both money and energy for homeowners in certain areas of the country and have been deemed the “least expensive means of providing hot water” by the Department of Energy.
How They Work
Unlike direct water heaters that heat the water right in the tank, indirect water heaters rely on a boiler to produce hot water. In a typical water heater-boiler set-up, a closed-loop water pipe connects the boiler to the water heater tank. Inside the water heater is an insulated storage tank that holds a coiled heat exchanger. The boiler heats up a fluid that, when hot, travels through the heat exchanger to the water heater tank. The heat in the exchanger heats up the water in the tank and when you turn the faucet on, your hot water will be available.
These types of water heaters save energy because as the water tank stores hot water, the boiler is no longer needed and can shut off. This means the boiler isn’t constantly running and increasing your energy bill. In addition, indirect water heater systems can run on oil, propane, gas, electricity, solar, or a combination of any of these, making it both customizable and efficient.
If your home has a boiler, it can be used to heat both your water heater and your heating system, giving you a one-two punch in energy efficiency. If you’re in the market for a new water heater and are interested in an indirect model, talk to our water heater experts today.