The efficiency of the water heating systems is determined by the ratio of generated heat energy and the consumed fuel energy per unit time. In the case of traditional water heaters, the ratio remained lower due to various factors including wasted energy, lower temperature & pressure of input water, higher fuel consumption, storage mechanism etc. The invention of condensing and anti-frost water heating systems has led to dramatic transformation in energy conservation, output volume, automated controls, protective devices, and maintenance procedures. The net benefits for the users are reduced costs, enhanced usage, safety and eco friendly functionality.
Condensing Equipment in the gas heater reuses the heat from the exhaust gas (at the exhaust point) for pre-heating the incoming cold water. Hence, the energy required to heat it is relatively lesser in the main unit. Since the system uses two heat exchangers (primary and secondary) for the same volume of input fuel, the efficiency of the system may reach up to 95% as opposed to the 75% efficiency of the conventional water heater.
The electric water heater uses a temperature controlled heating element. You can set the maximum and minimum temperature through an automated controller according to your choice. The system turns off heating when the temperature reaches maximum, and turns on when it goes below minimum.
Self modulated system for the electric water heater is useful when the input water temperature is below the normal levels (less than 2-degree-celcius). The system offers precise temperature control without having to auto on/off mode. The energy loss in the system is reduced to the lowest possible levels.
Every water heater manufactures a specific inlet water pressure for the equipment to function efficiently. If the pressure reduces below the limit, it may result in uneven or no heating.
The modern water heaters are efficiently designed and constructed to perform at varying external and internal conditions. When you optimize the utilization factors listed above, it is possible to get the best output from the moderately configured systems and save on your energy bills also.
Common material used for the natural gas water heater is stainless steel and the LP gas is cast iron. It has a thermo-couple, pilot assembly and gas supply pipes.
The pros and cons analysis is best done based on the heating system, storage, working mechanism and capacity.
Regardless of the type of water heating system used, you need to balance the maintenance procedures by categorizing them into regular and preventive methods.
|Heating Methods/Equipment||Hot Water heating system||Forced Air System|
|Heating Equipment||Water Heater –It could be powered by electricity, Solar power or gas (Most of the systems use gas/solar (or combination) as it is economically feasible). It can be used for home heating as well as water heating applications, depending on the size and capacity of the heater. The other connecting parts are the storage tank, circulator pump, controller, and the pipes that circulate the hot water through your home.||Furnace – The furnace is powered by a gas burner. It has other components like the air filter, air ducts, draft hoods, vents and heat exchanger.|
|Heat Transfer/Flow Method||The hot water from the heater flows through the insulated pipes in all the rooms into designated radiators in each room, which heat the room air. After circulation and heat transfer into the radiator, the water can circulate back into the storage unit or it can be discharged through drainage depending on the design pattern.||The furnace draws the air from an air filter and heats it to the specific temperature. Then it transfers the hot air through a fan that forces the circulation through your home to heat the interior air. The return air register passes the air from the room back to the furnace through the designated air ducts.|
|Room Heating||The hot water heating system works well with radiant system of hearing the floors, walls, ceilings and other devices effectively. When the radiant system absorbs the energy and heats the room interiors, the temperature raises slowly, but uniformly throughout the room. The temperature near the ceiling is relatively lower compared to the area from the floor to the vertical center of the room. But the temperature remains constant over an extended period. There is no drop in temperature within the living space of the room.||The forced air system works through an outlet in every room that heats the air inside. The circulating hot air is hottest at the source. As it moves up, the temperature starts decreasing. As it circulates down to the outlet duct, the temperature drops by more than 50%.|
|Stated Benefits||Uniform and consistent heating, near zero loss of energy and technical feasibility are some of the stated benefits of the hot water heating system.||Warming time is less. Hence, the system works faster compared to the hot water heating system. The system can be combined with humidity controlling deices easily.|
|Stated Limitations||Continuous supply of natural or HP gas could be tough in many of the regions where the availability may be lower.||Cooling time is also faster. Hence the system has to keep running as long as you require hot air within your room. This could make the device more expensive compared to the hot water heating system.|
|Recommended for||All types of geographical locations from the coldest regions in the world to the moderately colder regions. Once the radiator heats the room to a certain temperature, you can turn off the heater while the temperature remains at the higher level over an extended period.||Moderately cool to relatively colder locations. You may use it at coldest regions, provided you keep the furnace running continuously.|
The cost of the hot water heating on the floor depends on the nature of heating elements used. Generally the system used is radiant. The interior climate control works on the heat transfer principle from the floor into the interior air. You may need to mix the hot water with anti-freezing liquids to preserve the temperature even in coldest climatic conditions.