Water boilers provide reliable hot water to homeowners. These units come in various fuel types and differ in the features they offer. They typically resemble big metal cylinders and are placed in a laundry room or basement.
Water Boiler Types
Storage tank water boilers use a storage tank to store water and are the most common. On the other hand, tankless, or on-demand, water boilers do not store hot water. Instead, they heat water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. These water boilers are typically more energy efficient; however, they can only produce a limited volume of hot water. Both boiler types come in gas, electric, and liquid propane options; gas water boilers and liquid propane boilers tend to use less energy than electric water boilers. Still hybrid electric boilers and solar water heaters, while more expensive, are renowned for their energy efficiency.
Consider the size of your family when shopping for a storage tank water boiler, as many are classified by the amount of water they hold in litres. The size of the tank depends on how much water you use over a set period. In addition, keep in mind recovery rate or how many litres of water the boiler can heat in an hour. Generally speaking, small storage tank water boilers are well suited for outbuildings, shops, and garages; these utility boilers usually range in size from 9.5 to 72 litres. On the other hand, a two to four person family likely require a 300- to 320-litre tank, which allows enough water for about three showers, one load of laundry, one dishwasher cycle, and turning on the faucet nine times.
If planning to upgrade to a larger water tank, make sure that the boiler fits the space where your previous water heater resided; if not, it may be necessary to run plumbing to the new area of placement. Alternatively, consider buying a lowboy or shorty water boiler. These hot water boilers are shorter and bigger around than normal water heaters, allowing them to hold the same amount of water as their taller counterparts while still fitting in areas with limited headroom.
Energy Guide Labels
Consider the first hour rating (FHR) when shopping for a storage tank water heater. The FHR indicates the litres of water the boiler produces during peak usage times. Generally speaking, most models heat between 190 and 250 litres of water per hour. Similarly, keep in mind the litres-per-minute rating on tankless water heaters, as this number indicates the amount of hot water the heater is capable of delivering during a set period.