Propane Water Heaters
How Traditional Tank Water Heaters Work:
In a traditional tank-style water heater which most of us have in our homes, a propane burner keeps the water that is stored in the tank at a constant, pre-determined temperature, ready for use when you turn the tap in your kitchen or bathroom. In older, less efficient electric tank style water heaters, a heating element is used to heat the water in the tank.
Traditional tank-style water heaters used in homes and many small businesses come in a variety of sizes ranging from 20 gallons to 100 gallons, and are installed in the same manner as natural gas water heaters with almost identical connections and venting requirements. In the case of electric hot water heaters, there are even models with tank capacities as low as three gallons for very occasional hot water needs such as hand washing in an out-building or hobby shop.
When considering replacing your hot water heater, keep in mind that there are a variety of models available with different venting configurations, including conventional venting, direct venting, and power-vent models to meet your specific needs. But beyond traditional tank style hot water heaters there is another option: tankless water heaters.
Related: Propane for Home Heating and Cooking
Tankless Propane Water Heaters
Tankless propane water heaters provide a whole new level of water heating efficiency for your home virtually eliminating the expense of energy losses incurred by maintaining a constant water temperature inside a tank 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. Tankless water heaters, unlike traditional tank style water heaters, do not heat and maintain stored water for use when needed. Rather, they heat water only when you want it. Simply turn on the hot water tap and a tankless hot water heater superheats the water in a coil which passes through a set of propane burners into your hot water line.
While tankless propane water heaters have a higher up-front cost, they actually save money in the long term by using less propane to heat your water. And while a tanks style water heater has an average life expectancy of 11-12 years, a tankless hot water heater can be expected to last over 20 years.
Tankless hot water heaters take up much less space as well, and can also be installed in convenient out of the way locations as well – on a wall or in a supply closet next to the laundry room or kitchen, factors which are important if you are looking to conserve space.