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Types of Water Heaters

There are many Types of Water Heaters; if you are searching for a water heater and feel a little lost? We hear you, water heaters are a must, but these are rarely replaced until you need to. And with several different types of water heaters, it may seem daunting to pick a new one until you are forced to do so. The reason why we’ll be addressing different types of water heaters.

Water heaters are a necessity in every household. Waiting until they break -which is what happens most of the time -is a massive headache; picture being left with no hot water and, possibly, a flooded basement. Besides heating water, these appliances represent a steady and continual supply of water. So as you can imagine, being left without one is not a pleasant idea.

To avoid disaster, and before you make any significant investments, it is always a good idea to do a little research first, see what the market has to offer because chances are you’ll want to change to a new and improved model. So we are here to help and point you in the right direction by showing you different types of water heaters.

Types of Water Heaters

What are the five main types of water heaters?

  1. Storage Tank Water Heater. Storage tanks are the most common type of water heater. As the name suggests, these consist of an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed then emerges from a pipe on top of the water heater.
  2. Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater. Rather than storing water, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat the water as you need it. They’re more energy-efficient than a storage tank but provide only a limited flow of hot water per minute.
  3. Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater. These capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. They use about 60 percent less energy than standard electric water heaters. And while they cost more than electric-only models, installation is similar and payback time is short. But they don’t work well in very cold spaces.
  4. Solar Water Heater. A roof-mounted cell absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to an antifreeze-like fluid in a closed-loop system that runs to the water tank. The best deliver stellar savings in summer, making them attractive for warm, sunny regions.
  5. They are condensing Water Heater. Condensing water heaters are an option if you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity of more than 55 gallons. These models have a tank like a conventional water heater, but they capture exhaust gases that generally go out the flue, wasting energy.

Where to Buy Different Types of Water Heaters

Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

Types of water heaters 


  • Corded electric
  • Fast recovery rate
  • Shelf, wall, or floor mounted

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The Bosch Tronic 3000 T point-of-use electric mini-tanks fit easily under a sink, even in cabinet space. Because they have a sleek and attractive design, they blend in seamlessly with existing décor when installed in a visible location.

Eliminates long waits for hot water at your sink; get on-demand hot water at your every need.

Can be shelf, wall, or floor mounted (bracket included); tap into the cold water line and install the water heater directly at the sink to provide hot water.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

Types of water heaters 


  • 13-kilowatt
  • Sleek, wall-mounted design
  • Self-modulating technology

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Consistent hot water when you need it that never runs out; continuously monitored water temperature and controlled flow rates ensure efficiency and consistent performance within 1 degree of selected temperature.

EcoSmart tankless electric water heaters are 99% thermal energy efficient; Only heat water when called, unlike a tank heater that maintains water temperature even when not used.

Provides between 1.3 and 3.1 gallons per minute, depending on the inlet water temperature.

Pool Solar Panel

Types of water heaters 


  • Tube on Web Design
  • Solar Pool Heater
  • Polypropylene

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The XtremepowerUS Solar Pool Heating System allows you to effectively capture free heat from the sun’s rays to raise your pool water temperature. It’s an efficient and cost-effective method to heat your pool.

It is made from pre-compounded polypropylene, a process that increases the material’s resistance to UV light.

The pool pump pushes the water through the panel’s many tubes, warmed by the sun, and then returned into the pool.

Condensing Tankless Water Heater

Types of water heaters 


  • Condensing Technology
  • Back-draft prevention device
  • Stainless steel horizontal vent pipe

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This unit is an excellent choice for conservative-minded persons living in homes with one or two baths.

Turn on the water spigot or shower; hot water will arrive in a few moments. After the tap is turned off, the tankless heater will automatically extinguish itself.

An EZ Tankless heater can eliminate a large portion of your home’s standby energy loss, saving precious energy and money. The unit uses exhaust gas to preheat incoming water for added efficiency.

Hybrid Heat-Pump Single Vent Water Heater

Types of water heaters 


  • Recirculation compatible
  • Condensate overflow drain
  • Stainless Steel

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The Electrolux Energy Star Electric Hybrid Heat-Pump Water Heater, single vent, uses up to 70% less energy when compared to standard electric tank-style water heaters.

The premium stainless steel exterior and interior tank provide long-term durability. The Northern Climate Tier 2 Certification guarantees this unit exceeds current Energy Star standards by delivering one of its class’s most versatile, quietest, and efficient water heaters.

The 66-gallon tank ensures running out of hot water isn’t a problem and three operating modes, auto, econ, and heater, give you the perfect option for every application.

Common Questions Regarding Types of Water Heaters 

Which type of water heater is most prevalent?

Conventional Water Heater. Conventional water heaters are among the most popular water heater options. They feature a sizable insulated tank where water is stored and warmed.


  • Lower initial cost: You’ll likely spend far less on the initial up-front fees of a conventional water heater than you would for any of the four alternatives.
  • Efficient across all climates: No matter where in the world you live, you can rest assured knowing that a conventional water heater will function to perfection. Other types of water heaters require specific conditions for optimal performance.
  • Lower installation costs: Generally, installation costs tend to be lower than the alternative installation types.


  • Space hog: There’s no getting around the size of a conventional water heater. Because they are designed to accommodate a warm water reservoir, they tend to run on a larger spectrum of size.
  • Vulnerability to water damage: One of the most notable fatal flaws to conventional water heaters is their potential for water damage.
  • Increased energy waste. They are constantly using energy to keep water warm.

What are the two main types of water heaters?

The two main types of storage water heaters are:

  • Gas/oil water heaters
  • Electric water heaters (including heat pump units)

What is FHR, and why is it important for water heaters?

It means first-hour rating. That’s how much hot water you get from your water heater in its first hour of operation. Your tank’s first-hour rating or FHR will be printed on the tank. The FHR should be very close to how much water your family uses at peak times, perhaps in the morning when the shower is running, along with the dishwasher and washing machine.

What size water heater do I need for a family of five?

If your family size is five or more, you’ll need an 80-gallon tank (electric) or a 50-gallon tank (natural gas or liquid propane).

What aspects should you keep in mind when choosing a new water heater?

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the first things to consider when shopping for a water heater. The bottom line is: if it saves you energy, it saves you money. According to the Department of Energy, heating water accounts for about 18 percent of our home energy use. A more energy-efficient unit may cost you more at purchase but will save you more money in the long run.

Tank Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Water heaters with a tank are the most popular. Storage tank water heaters require little maintenance and are less expensive than tankless water heaters. On the downside, they use more energy. If you don’t use that stored hot water, it cools down and has to be reheated continually.

Tankless water heaters are also called instantaneous or on-demand water heaters. Just like the name implies, there’s no tank, so it requires less space. A coil system heats the water as needed, which saves on energy bills. Tankless gas water heaters and electric tankless water heaters are more expensive upfront and may require upgrading your electrical systems.

Water Heater Capacity

Standard residential tank water heaters can range in size and capacity. Tank water heaters range from 20 to 80-gallon capacities.

Water Heater Warranties

The average lifespan of a residential water heater is 10 to 15 years. A well-maintained commercial water heater should last 20+ years.


Photo of author
Samantha Cleanwell is a housekeeping expert who has dedicated her life to helping homeowners achieve clean and organized spaces. She was born and raised in the United States, and has spent her entire life perfecting her cleaning methods and discovering new ways to keep spaces clean and orderly.
Photo of author
Samantha Cleanwell is a housekeeping expert who has dedicated her life to helping homeowners achieve clean and organized spaces. She was born and raised in the United States, and has spent her entire life perfecting her cleaning methods and discovering new ways to keep spaces clean and orderly.

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