A natural gas storage-tank water heater is the most conventional type in the water heater industry. It has been in the industry for several decades and proved its simplicity, efficiency and worth for several generation. It consists of a gas burner and a steel cylinder storage tank. Storage tank varies in sizes. Typically it ranges from 30 to 100 gallons of water capacity. Also, since it uses natural gas, it is very efficient and economical. Also, it is dependable, environment friendly and uses the cleanest of all fossil fuels.
How does it work?
The cold water in the bottom of the tank is heated by a gas burner. Then the heated water will rise to the top. When the hot water is used, it is replaced with cold water in the bottom to be heated again. Basically, it has a tank thermostat that controls the water temperature. It controls the temperature in your tap and maintain the heat when it is not used. The most efficient tank water heater is said to be capable to hold the heat even if it is not used or in its “standby” mode. For safety, it is best to get a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to install your natural gas water heater.
What to look in your purchase?
- Size – To determine the size of the tank, it is important to know the water capacity for your household. The number of bathrooms, appliances, and showers will determine the storage capacity of your tank. Typically, 60 gallons tank size is ideal for high demand applications and a bigger household.
- Warranty – It is important to know its warranty period. Some models offer 1 to 6 years of warranty.
- “First Hour Rating” Capacity – Check and ask for the water heater tank’s “first hour rating”. It will give you idea of how much hot water the heater will supply during your household “peak demand”. “Peak demand” often is in the morning when most people in your household use showers.
- Type of Venting – Since air is required for combustion and igniting, gas water heaters need venting. There are three types of venting you can choose:
- The direct vent, which does not require a chimney and typically placed close to an outside wall. It uses both an intake and exhaust duct to move combustion gases through the side wall. It reduces the chance of exhaust gases inside the house.
- The power vent, which uses an electrically powered fan to assures proper exhaust of combustion gases. It eliminates the potential that the combustion products remain inside the home that may cause damage or possible illnesses.
- The conventional vent or natural vent, which uses chimney is common on most standard natural gas water heaters. The drawbacks of this kind of venting is its susceptibility to back drafting. It happens when the air is drawn in through the flue preventing exhaust gases from leaving the home.
- Specifications – The product specifications will give you a lot more idea about your water heater choice. You can check if it has a system to fight sediment that is building up in tank, shut-off device, instruction on it maintenance and others.
There are several choices of tank-type water heaters in the market. Also, today’s model improved greatly. This is why if you want to replace your existing water heater today (due to leak or damage) you can no longer get the exact model of your old water heater. Instead, you may be able to get a better and more efficient model than you have before. You just have to choose what is right for you and your household.