The variety of hot water tanks available in the plumbing department can look like a jungle… How to navigate between all these storage water heater models? Balloon systems have many characteristics, among which you will have to choose according to your needs, your housing, or your energy budget. A cumulus can use different energy modes, have different sizes… To help you find your way around, here is a quick overview of the main types of hot water tanks.
The basic principle of a balloon: storing hot water.
To enjoy a hot shower, you have to be able to count on hot water being available at will. This is precisely the purpose of your hot water tank! This equipment separates hot and cold water into two layers, according to the principle of stratification. The upper part of the tank is filled with hot water which is renewed as it is consumed, replaced by cold water coming from the lower part and brought to the right temperature by the heating device (which can take a while). You can whistle with confidence in the shower, it will stay warm.
Once this basic principle is known, different types of ball exist, which use multiple energy sources or technologies…
Electric, gas, solar… what energy source?
Most balloons run on gas or electricity.
The ball electric, which works with resistance, has the advantage of being able to charge overnight, thus taking advantage of your off-peak hours. Although it is rather greedy in energy consumption, this type of balloon is inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. It is by far the most common in French homes.
As for the hot water tank gaz, it uses a burner and has two types of connection, one of which is intended to evacuate the burnt gas. It heats up faster than its electric companion, which is an advantage when you need hot water quickly available. Significantly more economical in consumption, thanks to its better performance, the cost of installing the gas balloon, however, tends to reduce this advantage.
Newcomers to the world of hot water tanks, solar or thermodynamic cumulus are more respectful of the planet… and of your consumption budget.
The solar hot water tank: ecological and economical.
The solar cumulus is a recent innovation. Designed to support the needs of the ecological transition, it uses the sun’s energy and is therefore among the most economical in terms of consumption. This champion of clean energy is available in three types of models: the monobloc, a compact system that is one with its solar panel; the thermosiphon, where panel and tank are separate; the pump and regulation system (the position of the panel and the tank is irrelevant). All these models work thanks to a calorific liquid circulating in tubes.
The thermodynamic cumulus: 100% renewable energy!
The thermodynamic system combines a hot water tank and a heat pump, thanks to which the device recovers the energy present in the ambient air to heat the water contained in the tank. To optimize its operation, it is also recommended to install this type of balloon in an unheated room, close for example to a freezer or a washing machine. The calories expended by these devices will thus be directly recovered to heat the water in the thermodynamic balloon.
The great advantage of this type of balloon, in addition to its low carbon footprint, is to divide the energy cost by 3 or 4 compared to an electric balloon. In addition, it is possible to benefit from financial aid within the framework of the energy transition, which can help reduce the cost of the installation, which is higher than that of an electric model.
Once upon a time: the 7 types of hot water balloons.
Apart from their energy mode, there are 7 major models of balloons. You can choose according to your investment capacity or the quality you are looking for.
1 – Entry level
Suitable for smaller budgets, this type of balloon does the job. But it is designed with simpler and less efficient elements, which impacts its lifespan.
2 – The armored model
More solid, it offers better performance thanks to its enamelled tank and its super thermal insulation. The immersion heater is particularly effective.
3 – The soapstone balloon
This is ideal if your water is very calcareous! This premium system is designed to withstand hard water. With its enamelled tank and efficient thermal insulation, this balloon is made to last.
4 – Le ballon HPC (High Performance Computer)
Let’s say it in French: this High Performance Computing system, classified in category C (French standard), thoroughly optimizes the performance of the ball. High quality, it ensures excellent productivity and long durability.
5 – The heat exchanger
This type of tank works like a boiler, which heats water through a serpentine piping system that passes inside the tank. It is connected to a water heater which produces hot water but does not store it.
6 – The solar balloon
This innovative system collects solar radiation using a panel and heats water at a lower cost.
7 – The thermodynamic system
Capable of recycling the caloric energy recovered in the ambient air, it is a device with very economical consumption but more expensive to install.
How to choose the ball that suits you?
The correct tank size depends on your hot water consumption.
The first criterion that you must take into account is first of all the need hot water from your home. Depending on the number of people living in your home and your hot water consumption, you can define the right size of your hot water tank. Single, couple, large family? The size of the balloon adapts to your tribe.
You can remember that it takes about 50 liters per person per day. A small 50 liter balloon is therefore sufficient for a single person. For two people, opt for a 100-litre balloon. A couple with a child will use 150 liters. Large balloons, from 200 to 500 litres, are designed for families of at least four people.
That being said, consider the spending habits of your household as well. Some take long showers (which exceed the usual 40 litres), others do the dishes by hand while letting the water run… Provide a balloon with an appropriate storage capacity, especially if you are a heavy water consumer hot… or if you often host friends over for sleepovers. But do not choose too large a tank, so as not to pay unnecessarily for unused hot water.
Pay attention to the space required for the installation of the balloon.
The more your balloon has a large storage capacity, the more space it takes up. Make sure you have enough space to install a bulky hot water tank, without forgetting the maintenance space to be provided around it. It takes a little space to make an emptying for example. For this, allow 50 cm around the device.
Whichever model you choose, take care of its maintenance to maintain its performance and ensure its durability.