Choosing the right water heater for your home is a crucial decision. It can significantly affect your daily comfort, energy consumption, and utility bills. In Singapore, where space is often at a premium and energy efficiency is highly valued, the choice often boils down to two main types: instant water heaters and storage water heaters. But which one is the best fit for your home? Let’s delve into their fundamental differences, advantages, and disadvantages.
Instant Water Heaters: The Efficient Choice
Instant water heaters, also known as tankless or demand-type water heaters, only heat water as it’s needed. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water travels into the unit, where a heating element (usually electric or gas-powered) heats it instantly. This means you have a continuous supply of hot water, but the flow rate might be limited.
Advantages of Instant Water Heaters
Given their compact size, they are ideal for smaller homes or apartments in Singapore where space is a luxury.
Endless Hot Water:
Since water is heated on demand, you’ll never run out of hot water, provided the flow rate is within the unit’s capacity.
Lower Initial Cost:
Instant heaters are generally cheaper than storage water heaters. Furthermore, the installation costs are also cheaper than storage water heaters.
Disadvantages of Instant Water Heaters
As instant heaters are tankless, they require a higher power input to heat up water, therefore they consume higher electricity when in use, making them less energy-efficient than storage heaters, which maintain a large volume of hot water all the time.
As these heaters heat water on the go, their hot water consistency might be lower, especially if multiple taps are opened simultaneously.
Higher Future Cost:
Although the prices of instant water heaters are cheaper and more affordable to install than storage types, the former has a higher electricity consumption than the latter.
An instant heater typically requires 3.0kw/hr to heat up the water, meaning you are spending a higher electricity bill per minute of your shower. Thus, causing you to spend more on electricity bills in the long run.
Instant heaters draw electrical current directly from the house main circuit board without any power earthing. In the event of a short circuit, the current will be discharged through the water coming out from the heater and an electrocution will occur during your shower.
Storage Water Heaters: The Traditional Choice
Storage water heaters are the most common type of water heater. They work by continuously heating water stored in a tank, maintaining a constant supply of hot water.
Advantages of Storage Water Heaters
With a large reservoir of hot water ready for use, these heaters can deliver hot water to the entire house simultaneously, making them suitable for larger homes and families.
Better Water Pressure:
As the storage tank can heat water up to 70 degrees, more cold water will be used to mix with the hot water from the storage tank. As the main cold water supply is where the main water pressure of the household relies on, you can enjoy better water pressure during your shower.
Lower Energy Use:
Storage heaters typically require 2.0kw/hr to heat up water, once the water temperature reaches its desired temperature, the heating will be cut off wasting no additional electricity. The tank is capable of storing hot water throughout the day for an average of 6 hours. Thus, if the hot water is sufficient inside the tank, there is no need to reheat the water.
Disadvantages of Storage Water Heaters
Higher Initial Cost:
Compared to instant heaters, storage water heaters are usually more expensive to install.
Limited Hot Water:
Once the hot water in the tank runs out, it takes time to reheat more water.
Requires More Space:
These heaters come with a bulky storage tank, requiring more space for installation.
So, Which is Better for Singapore Homes?
Both instant and storage water heaters have their strengths and weaknesses, so the best choice depends on your specific needs and circumstances.
If you live in a smaller apartment and are keen on saving energy, an instant water heater could be the ideal choice. However, if you have a larger household with high hot water demand from multiple outlets simultaneously, a storage water heater might serve you better.
Remember, it’s essential to consider the long-term energy costs and the initial installation price. An energy-efficient model might cost more upfront but save more money (and be better for the environment) in the long run.
In conclusion, understanding your home’s hot water needs, your budget, and your commitment to energy efficiency will guide you in making the best choice between instant and storage water heaters for your Singapore home.