Who doesn’t love a relaxing hot shower at home? Hot showers provide many health benefits, such as reducing muscle soreness, eliminating fatigue, and improving blood flow and sleep.
Many households in Malaysia have instant water heaters in their bathrooms. But if you’re only just thinking of getting one, here are some considerations you should make.
Most common types
Instant water heaters are mounted within your shower area itself. When the electricity is turned on, it directly heats up the water that passes through it just before it comes out of your shower head.
It does not store water in a tank, which is why instant water heaters are also known as tankless heaters. As long as it remains turned on and your water supply is not disrupted, you will get continuous hot water.
Instant water heaters started gaining popularity in the 1990s, before which, most Malaysian households had storage water heaters. Other types of heaters include gas and solar.
Storage water heaters came with a water tank, usually holding 25 to 80 litres of hot water. When the electricity is turned on, it heats the water in the tank, not unlike a kettle. In some homes, the temperature can be adjusted with a thermostat up to 75°C.
As these are much larger and heavier than instant water heaters, they are usually mounted away from the shower area, or hidden in the false ceiling or attic.
Gas water heaters work in the same way as storage heaters, but instead of running on electricity, it uses a gas fire to heat up the water. It, therefore, needs to be connected to a gas supply.
Gas models are not common in Malaysian households but are popular in laundromats as they provide hot water for washing machines at lower cost.
Solar water heaters, of course, use the power of the sun. The solar panels on your roof become very hot as they are exposed to the sun. Cold water that is pumped through them heats up as well, and is then stored for later use.
In Malaysia, instant and storage water heaters are by far the most popular types in residential properties. Here are the main differences between them.
Instant water heaters
- Provide instant heating.
- One unit is only able to supply hot water to one outlet.
- Supply continuous hot water as long as it is turned on.
- Water pressure is limited by how much water can flow through the heat exchanger.
- Energy-efficient as you only heat what you need to use.
- No extra piping required; just connect it to the water inlet and plug it in.
- Prices start from RM200.
Storage water heaters
- Take 10-30 minutes to heat, depending on the size of your tank.
- One unit provides hot water to multiple outlets in the home.
- Hot water will be depleted if too many people use it at once.
- Water pressure is consistent until the tank runs low.
- Less energy-efficient if you leave it switched on, as it will keep reheating even at night.
- Hot water pipes need to be connected from the heater to each outlet in the home.
- Prices start from RM400.
Apart from the above, there is another downside to storage water heaters: after many years, your water tank could start to leak due to corrosion or cracking. This leak could end up all over your ceiling, causing significant amounts of damage.
Don’t miss part two of this article tomorrow.
This article originally appeared on Recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform. Recommend.my offers a safer and more convenient way to hire the best home improvement and home maintenance professionals. From flooring to interior design to air-conditioner servicing, get access to thousands of the best local contractors and professionals at your fingertips.