This article highlights some of the basic concepts/principles related to the water heater or geyser and its efficiency (energy efficiency or energy factor). Water heating is either done by electrical heating or by gas heating.
Introduction to a water heater and its efficiency
The water heater or geyser is a device which is used to heat the water above room temperature or its initial temperature. The water heaters in markets are now available in different categories. These include conventional electrical heating rod element type, solar-type heating or gas heating. Any equipment's performance is measured by its efficiency. Efficiency or Performance is the ratio of Desired output to required. But talking about the efficiency of the water heater, efficiency is energy delivered to the house by the hot water to the energy supplied to the water heater. The energy efficiency of water heater is sometimes referred to as energy factor (EF).
There are two types of widely used water heater
Electric water heater: The electric heater uses electricity to generate the heat which is transferred to the water to raise its temperature. It consists of a high resistance wire coil or rod which gets heated when electricity passes through it. The heater is provided with safety control to stop the heating once the predetermined temperature is reached. This type of water heater or geyser is called storage tank type geyser where a limited amount of water is heated at a time.
Gas water heater: The gas water heater uses the heat of gas combustion to raise the temperature of the water. It consists of the gas burner which gets activated when the flow of water is ON. The heat released during the combustion is taken by heat exchanger through which water is flowing. Thus, water gets heat from the burner via the heat ex changer and gets heated. This type of heater or geyser is called non-storage type heater because it does not require any storage tank for water but it continuously heat the water as long as the flow of gas and its combustion is running.
Which heater to choose?
What to choose? Higher efficient electric water heater(for conventional type, 90%) or low efficient gas water heater(conventional type, 55%)?
As an intelligent customer, one must go for buying natural gas water heater because of the low annual cost of gas compared to the electrical heating annual cost.
But the question comes to mind why the gas water heater is less efficient than an electrical heater? The answer is due to combustion phenomena of gas inside the gas water heater.
100% or complete combustion is not possible as by-products of combustion taking part in the energy interaction, some may consume generated energy or some may create energy.
Some proven data related to Heater and its efficiency
The gas heater of the conventional type has 55 % energy efficiency while heater with high efficiency in gas type category is 62%. On the other hand, the electric heating heater of the conventional type has about 90% energy efficiency and electric heater with high-efficiency type is 94%. So, Always choose Gas water heater if there is the availability of natural gas to the house.
Article by Dr. Paresh Gujarati The author is a mechanical engineer (B. E., M. Tech., Ph. D.) by profession and has a passion to write a simple but effective content that can help every layman to know more.
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