There are several types of water cylinder available, and the one that is right for you can depend on many different factors. However, how do you choose the right one?
Unless you are an expert, can you be expected to know which type of cylinder will meet your needs?
However, there are a few simple differences between direct and indirect water cylinders which should help you choose the option that is right for you.
A direct water cylinder has no external heat source. Instead, the heat is produced by a coil inside the water tank.
The coil heats up the water directly. When using a direct cylinder, you should use copper in the coil. This provides excellent heat transference to the water, meaning it is more efficient than other materials.
An indirect hot water cylinder utilises an external heat source, with a heat exchanger to heat the water.
The heat source can be anything from a solar panel to a wood burning stove. If it external to the cylinder, then it is an indirect hot water cylinder.
However, there is some cross over. Many indirect hot water cylinders utilise an internal heat source as well, to supplement the energy from the external source. This is useful if the source of power is difficult to predict, or not completely reliable.
As an indirect cylinder can utilise alternative power sources, such as solar power, electricity bills will be reduced, as will emissions. This will obvious help any energy efficiency rating in the home.
Using alternative sources of energy will also save money in the long term, although you will need the initial expense of having solar panels or other energy sources installed. However, there are grants available which will help off-set some of the cost of installing solar panels and other renewable energy sources.
A direct hot water cylinder is more predictable, and can be set to provide hot water exactly when you need it. There is also no need to supplement the coil with other energy sources.
However, it can be down to personal preference when looking at which one will suit you most. If you want to utilise alternative energy sources, then choose an indirect cylinder. If you want to be sure of getting fast, efficient hot water and do not mind the energy costs, then a direct cylinder may be best for you.
It makes sense to consult an expert to discuss your options before you choose.