How to Compare Indirect Heating Systems

Indirect water heaters utilize your house's space-heating system to heat water. These systems are often referred to as "combination" or "integrated" heating units. Indirect heaters still have a water tank, but circulate water through your home's boiler or furnace for heat in lieu of a self-contained heating device. These systems are more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. Choosing the right indirect heating system depends on your budget, situation, and demands.

Instructions

    • 1

      Consider the cost of each unit. Indirect heaters are available in several varieties, and may have sharp differences in price when it comes to installation and maintenance costs, as well as the initial purchase price. Narrow your selection down to units you can afford. As a rule, installation and maintenance costs for indirect water heaters are lower than traditional units, but costs of the units themselves are higher.

    • 2

      Use the combined efficiency rating to determine which unit makes the best use of the power it consumes. Ratings vary from 0.59 to 0.90, with higher ratings indicating better energy efficiency.

    • 3

      Speak with a qualified contractor or plumber to help figure out what size of combination unit you need. Different home sizes call for different units, but the calculations are slightly different that those involved for a traditional heater, since combination units must run on your home's regular heating system.

    • 4

      Find a system that can be retrofitted to match your home. Most indirect heating systems are developed for new construction, so if you are trying to convert your home to an indirect system your options will be more limited than if you were simply building a new home.

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