How to choose your water heater: our advice
Hot water is a critical element of comfort that is used without even thinking of it. However, it has to be heated before it reaches your tap! The difficulty is finding the water heater which produces hot water all the time, at the right temperature and without breaking the bank!
The quantity needed of DHW depends on how many people live in your household and on their habits. If you have reasonable hot water consumption, on average, 40 to 50 liters of DHW per day and per person is to be expected. An accurate assessment of your needs is necessary. Indeed, if underestimated, you will get cold showers! At the contrary, if overestimated, your electricity bill will increase since too much hot water is produced for nothing. Smartly, some water heaters memorize your daily consumptions and adjust hot water production depending on your actual needs.
The water quality of the distribution system can directly affect the lifetime of your appliance. If you have a balanced water, then there is no problem. However, if it is too hard, it can cause scaling, in particular to the heating element. If aggressive, it can cause a faster tank corrosion. Rather, select a water heater fitted with Steatite heating element protected by enamelled steel sleeve. Beware of water softeners, incorrectly tuned, they produce a far too aggressive water, therefore, too corrosive.
You can select either a conventional electric, a heat-pump or a solar water heater. Another important point: Pick the right spot depending on how much space is available. According to models, water tanks can be installed in many ways (wall mounted horizontally or vertically, floor standing...), in the most confined spaces or can require more space, even a technical room (for solar or heat pump water heaters).
Cost-effective to purchase and easy to install, it is the simplest solution: the tank water is heated by an electric heating element. Simple and effective: a modern electric water heater combines electronic thermostat and digital display unit. The most modern ones include self-learning functions. It means that the appliance adapts to your consumption patterns… In the end, 20 % savings are possible!
You can expect 50 to 70 % savings on your DHW bill by selecting a solar water heater! The water is preheated naturally by the solar collectors located on the roof. Indeed, they contain a heat conducting fluid able to transfer the solar energy to the hot water tank, through a heat exchanger. This option requires some more space and a roof adapted to solar collectors or a terrace.
It is probably the simplest and most modern solution to cut by half your bills. Here, no solar collectors on the roof, but rather a hot water tank and heat pump combined together. Depending on the models, the heat pump captures the energy from the ambient air (all-in-one unit installed in an unheated technical room of at least 20 m²) or from the outdoor air (two-part product or split system equipment) to give it back to the tank water.
Here is quite a practical solution to associate with a boiler: DHW solutions compatible with all the types of boilers which are used as back-up. In winter time, the boiler is responsible for heating the water thanks to the heat transfer fluid circulating in the heat exchanger. In summer time, the hot water tank takes over thanks to the built-in electric back-up heating kit (mixed version).