When it comes to deciding on the best system to obtain domestic hot water for your home, there are numerous options at your disposal. Knowing their advantages and disadvantages will help you select the best solution once you are certain what you need.
Here are some of the possibilities to help you with your decision:
Electric water heaters
How they work
Your system stores water in a water tank, which is heated using an electrical resistor. The power corresponds to the capacity of the tank and it will vary depending on the needs of your home. If there are two people living in your house, a capacity of 80 litres and 1,500 W is recommended. If you are five people, a capacity of 200 litres is recommended, with a power of 3,000 W.
A decisive function of an electric water heater is the recovery rate: How long it takes to reheat the water. This will be a key feature so you do not get cold water while you are in the shower. This may not be a problem in summer but it will be most unpleasant in the middle of winter.
Electric water heaters are highly efficient and provide domestic hot water quickly and continuously, without major variations in temperature. The latter is because the water reaches its maximum temperature in the tank and mixes with the cold water at the point of consumption which means that the temperature can be regulated immediately. You will also be able to turn on the taps you want and you will always have hot water instantly at your disposal.
There are different models depending on capacity and type of use, and they are adapted to different types of homes and the number of users.
They are easy to install and can be discreetly fitted into different spaces in the home, usually in bathrooms and kitchens. The electric water heater only needs to be connected to the water network and the electricity network. They are also easy to use.
Maintenance only involves the same as for any electrical appliance and following the manufacturer's instructions.
As they run on electricity, they do not generate polluting gas emissions or waste. It should not be forgotten that every year, a greater percentage of electricity is generated from renewable and sustainable energy sources. Please remember: When you have to throw an electric water heater away, it should be deposited at a collection point in the corresponding place.
Traditionally, electric water heaters have higher consumption than other systems, as they keep the water hot all the time. However, improvements have been introduced to minimise consumption in accordance with the patterns of use of hot water or combinations with aerothermal energy.
How they work
When you turn on a tap, water flows through the heater. The burner ignites and the gas starts to flow, generating combustion that heats the water by means of a heat exchanger. When you close the tap, the gas is turned off and the burner is turned off. The gas can come from a cylinder (butane gas) or from the natural gas network.
The problem with the first case is that the gas bottle may run out so it will need to be changed or a new one bought. This does not happen with natural gas as the service is continuous. Depending on the model, gas heaters can provide between 5 and 20 litres of hot water, so choosing the most suitable model depends on how many hot-water points the house has and what it will be used for.
They are less efficient than electric water heaters, as they take more time to heat the water. They are also not able to supply domestic hot water simultaneously to very many points. This is why the temperature of the water may vary. When you are taking a shower, if someone turns on a tap in the kitchen (intentionally or not), the water may suddenly turn cold.
However, the amount of hot water is unlimited, as it does not depend on how much can be stored in a tank because it is heated on the fly.
There are different models, but due to the nature of this device, it should always be installed following the safety instructions carefully. It needs to be connected to the water supply network, the gas supply network and the electricity grid. Depending on the model, it will require ventilation and other requirements, such as atmospheric equipment, and it will also require a gas outlet.
This should always be done by authorised personnel. Nowadays, almost all models can be installed anywhere in the house, but they are usually located in the kitchen or bathrooms, although there must be an electricity socket nearby.
Each manufacturer has recommendations for maintenance, but by law, heaters up to 24.4 kW should be serviced by an authorised professional every 5 years.
A gas heater uses gas (butane or natural gas), so it has a carbon footprint, making it the least sustainable of the two options.
In the same way, it is advisable to contact an authorised installer to remove a water heater when it needs to be replaced.
This is usually a cheaper system than the electric water heater, however, it largely depends on the variations in energy prices and the tariff you have contracted with your retailer.
The best tariffs for your electric and gas water heater
Whichever option you choose, Endesa offers you a wide range of the best tariffs so you will be able to save on both gas and electric water heaters. With tariffs that are adapted to your needs and the installations in your home.