Tank Water Heater Showdown: Electric Vs. Hybrid Electric

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Tanked water heaters, or traditional water heaters, come in several different styles based around how the heat is generated. Two common styles are electric and hybrid electric. Electric water heaters simply use electricity-powered heating elements to warm the water in the tank. A hybrid electric tank also have electric heating elements but those only power on if the unit is unable to absorb enough heat from the surrounding air to warm the water in the tank. 

Each type of tank water heater has its own strengths and weaknesses. How do electric and hybrid electric stack up in a showdown? 

Cheapest Upfront Purchase: Electric

Electric units are simpler and more popular, which drives down the initial purchase cost of the unit. The units are available at a wider range of stores and often cost less to have installed by professional plumbers than a hybrid electric unit would cost.

Hybrid electric units, conversely, cost more upfront. These units have more working parts and are larger in size. Hybrid electric units can be harder to find and might cost more in installation costs.  Maintenance on hybrid electric units can also prove more expensive due to the complexity of the unit.  

Trickier Install: Hybrid Electric

Why are hybrid electric units often more costly to install than electric? The tall hybrid units can't fit inside a small closet that can fit an electric unit. For maximum heat absorption, the hybrid unit should be installed high in your house such as in the attic. The unit will also need to have quite a lot of circulating air around it so that the absorption can happen.

Electric units can install nearly anywhere that has enough space for the unit. So electric units are the tank of choice for smaller homes or apartments where you either don't have an attic or don't have the room to waste.

Most Efficient: Hybrid Electric   

Why would anyone want a hybrid electric unit if it costs more upfront and is harder to install? Hybrid units are far more energy efficient if you live in an area with warmer weather or have central heating in your home. The unit can often get enough heat from the outside air or from your rising artificial heat to warm your water. In those cases, the electric elements won't need to kick on and your utility bill won't suffer.

If you have the room for a hybrid electric water heater and need to cut back on electricity costs, talk to your plumbing company about installing a hybrid electric unit. Unsure about what unit would work best? Ask a technician to come to your home for a consultation.

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30 November 2015

plumbing mistakes - when to call in the pros

Do you know when to call a plumber? I had it in my head that plumbing was a simple system in my home that I could manage myself, but quickly learned otherwise. After completing a bathroom renovation myself and having a few of the water and drain pipe connections fail, I quickly learned that it was one job that I should have left to a professional. My website offers you simple solutions to small plumbing issues and a short guide to help you determine if your best option is to call in the professional plumbers. Hopefully, my mistakes will help you learn what not to do in your home.