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Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

By June 26, 2020February 5th, 2021No Comments
Water heater thermostat

There are quite a few different types of water heaters available and each has its own pros and cons. What’s right for your home depends on how you use your water and the size of your home. Here is an outline of each, plus their benefits and drawbacks, to help you choose.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater

This is the type of water heater most people will recognize. It features a tank that holds heated water. Its capacity determines how much water you have available at any given time. The tank itself is insulated and the water remains warm once heated up.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install


  • Holds a limited amount of water
  • Takes time to refill

Tankless Water Heater

This type of water heater is more modern and can offer nearly endless hot water to the home – provided the unit is properly sized. This type of water heater has no tank and relies on super-heated coils that fill with water and flash-heat it as needed. It’s great for heating water quickly and works well with homes that use natural gas to power the water heater.


  • Extremely cost-efficient
  • Takes up less space
  • Offers limitless hot water if sized correctly to home


  • Expensive installation
  • Hard to clean
  • May require larger gas or electricity lines installed

Heat Pump Water Heater 

This is a hybrid water heater that can help homeowners cut down on electricity because the heater doesn’t directly generate any heat. Instead, it uses heat in the air and ground to heat water.


  • Used 60% less electricity than typical water heaters
  • Extremely efficient


  • Need at least 8 ft of vertical clearance
  • Doesn’t work well if installed in excessively cold areas
  • Very expensive to purchase

Solar Powered Water Heater

As the name suggests, this type of water heater allows homeowners to draw energy from the sun and is excellent for those who have solar panels or are considering solar panel installation.


  • The most energy-efficient option
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Saves homeowners money


  • System requires a “backup” for cloudy days
  • Expensive; takes many years to see ROI

Condensing Water Heater

This type of water heater takes advantage of a home’s unused gas fumes by funneling heated exhaust from the natural gas system to the water heater itself. The fumes go through a series of coils based at the bottom of the water tank in order to heat the water.


  • Extremely efficient by recycling gas
  • Typically requires a large tank, meaning there’s always an abundance of hot water


  • Not easily available in smaller models
  • Only works in homes run on natural gas

Have questions about your water heater? We help families across Kelowna maintain, repair, and replace their water heaters. Contact us to find out more.