A water heater is a necessity in most homes and residential buildings. For many decades (and even centuries), consumers who are looking to purchase a water heater are faced with the same options: gas, electric, traditional tank, and tankless water heaters. Hybrid water heaters are definitely new in the game, but the consistent increase of hybrid water heater reviews online show that many consumers are taking a strong interest in this new innovation.
What is a Hybrid Water Heater?
A hybrid water heater basically combines the benefits of a traditional tank and a tankless unit.
A traditional tank water heater works by perpetually heating water, so that users have a steady supply of hot water. These heaters have tanks that can store anywhere from 40 to 80 gallons of hot water. Water enters the tank from the top while a burner heats the water from the bottom.
The constant heating of large amounts of water consume a lot of energy, especially since the process continues even when hot water is not needed. Over time, the water also leaves behind sediments that can build up at the bottom of the tank, making it harder for the heat from the burner to reach the water. Gradually, the tank water heater loses its efficiency.
Unlike the traditional tank version, a tankless unit heats water without storing it. Also known as “On-Demand”, a tankless heater only supplies hot water whenever it is needed. Instead of being stored in a tank, the water passes through tight coils where it is also heated through regulated temperature from the bottom. Both tank and tankless are also susceptible to sediment buildup and corrosion. Over time, its ability to heat water efficiently is greatly reduced.
How a Hybrid Water Heater Works
If you browse hybrid water heater reviews, you will see that this innovative appliance is designed to combine the best features of both a tank and tankless unit, thus earning the name “hybrid”.
The hybrid water heater is compact like the tankless version, but it actually has a small built-in tank inside for water storage. This is where the water to be heated comes from. There is also a burner that only turns on when hot water is needed and a safety feature that ensures that temperature does not exceed the setting.
Hybrid water heaters also boast a revolutionary counter flow design where cold water enters from the bottom, allowing a self-cleaning process where sediments are instantly eliminated. The infrared heat in the middle of the burner is also distributed around the burner. Once the heat bounces off the dome of the tank, it flows down and circulate through the burner before it goes back up to exit the tank.
The slow travel of heat and the recycling of energy allows the hybrid water heater to be superior in thermal efficiency, compared to tank and tankless water heaters. With its longer life span, higher efficiency and less energy consumption, it seems that hybrid water heaters are only bound to get even better.