I heat my house with a 50 gallon water heater. I also heat all my hot water with the same water heater. My house is 2,900 square feet and I have 4 children. For a time there I had 3 teenage daughters who all had long hair. They took LOOOOOONG showers. You know what, my water heater kept up the whole time.
The heater is a Polaris Water Heater made by American Water Heaters. You can’t buy it in Alaska anymore. Too bad. It has a stainless steel tank and it is 95% efficient. Except for it’s bad habit of going through igniters it has been pretty much trouble free for the 11 years that I have owned it.
I notice that Radiantec a company that specializes in radiant heat systems also recommends this heater.
Almost every heating contractor that has come into my home over the years has tried to talk me into installing a boiler. I’m not going to do it. I have seen the up front costs of those boilers, I have seen the monthly bills and the complications. I can’t understand why there aren’t more systems like mine in Alaska.
I recently talked with a wholesaler in Washington about this. He let me know about another heater that appears to be a more recent take-off of my Polaris. It is 96% effecient and uses some of the same technology but with some more modern touches, like a digital readout to let you know what’s going on if there are problems. It is called a Vertex heater. I have been told that you can get them at Fergusons on Bogard Road.
This is something to think about when you are planning your heating system. This is especially true if you are thinking about radiant in-floor heating. A high efficiency water heater might just be faster, simpler, cheaper, and more efficient than a boiler or furnace.