Electric hot water tanks are typically used in commercial settings as they can be placed in a tight corner or above the ceiling. They do not require to be vented and come in various sizes perfect to heat water for a couple of washrooms or a kitchen. Electric tanks may take presidence in rural areas or for a cabin at the lake.
Natural draft hot water tanks are the most popular choice for homeowners in Urban Alberta. Due to new developements in hot water tanks, many new homes prefer higher efficiency tanks. Unfortunately, atmospheric tanks are most common but are only about 55-65% efficient. There is a lot of heat wasted going up the chimney so the tank runs for longer periods burning up your money.
Power Direct vent hot water heaters are like a power vent except it uses a 2 pipe system; one for the exhaust and one for the intake. When the water tank is situated where there is no combustion air available or the air quality is not optimal for complete combustion. The second air intake provides clean air for proper combustion. This type of hot water heater is around 70-71% efficient.
Power vented tanks are tanks that have a motor on top of the tank, this assists in moving the hot air through the tank and out the side of the house to the outdoors. It has one pipe as the exhaust, because it is assisted, it is smaller in diamter (usually 2" in residential applications). The pipe is made of PVC or CPVC plastic and is rated 636 for gas venting. This type of hot water tank is about 70% efficient
Hot Water Tanks
Designs of hot water tanks
These tanks are highly efficient in that the design provides much greater heat transfer surface than a standard straight flue tube, resulting in 96% thermal efficiency. These units are not as affordable but the running savings are noteworthy.
These units are hot water on demand and can be electric or natural gas. These units will provide enough hot water for endless showers one after the other. However, having two showers going at the same time may prove difficult. As the unit is only used when hot water is required and along with conductive copper heat exchangers, the efficiency rating of these types of heaters are also high at 95%