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Specialists in Electric Hot Water Cylinders

Choosing the Right Water Cylinder for an Apartment

21 Mar 2022

Struggling to choose the right water cylinder for apartments? Whether you’re replacing aging equipment or handling a new build, it can be quite challenging given the many options on the market. Two options growing in popularity are thermal stores and unvented cylinders. How do they differ? Which is the right option for your needs? We’ll break things down so you can make an informed decision.

Thermal Stores

A thermal store is not the same thing as a conventional water heater. The primary difference here is that the thermal store does not feed heated water into the taps. Instead, the thermal store is used to transfer heat into domestic water via heat exchangers.

Most thermal stores today use flat-plate heat exchangers, which are capable of transferring a substantial amount of heat in a relatively short amount of time. Thermal stores are also designed to use multiple energy inputs, including solar, grid-tied electricity, heat from a wood-fired or oil-fired boiler, and more.

Another primary difference here is that thermal stores are vented, which means there is no pressure vessel like there is with an unvented cylinder. Likewise, there are no pressure-relief valves.

Unvented Cylinders

Unvented cylinders work very differently from thermal stores. They are in line with your water system, meaning that cold water flows into them, is heated to the specified temperature, and is then fed to the taps. There are several advantages to this design not found with thermal stores.

First, an unvented cylinder can provide hotter water than most thermal stores. This is because the water is heated within the cylinder before being sent to the taps, whereas a thermal store can only impart so much warmth to water flowing past the heat exchanger.

Another benefit of an unvented cylinder is that they can be installed almost anywhere and come in a wide range of sizes. That means they can be used with any size property and provide mains pressure hot water at all the taps.

Which Is Right for You?

For most apartments, an unvented cylinder will be the better option. These provide flexibility in installation location, ensure mains pressure water at all the taps, and can deliver a significant volume of heated water for showering, washing dishes, and more. However, thermal stores can provide some benefits that unvented cylinders cannot. For instance, they can be used not just for a supply of hot water, but as a source of heating.

A Note on Mains Pressure

Both unvented cylinders and thermal stores are “mains pressure” systems. That is, they both deliver water to the taps at the pressure of the mains. This is a better solution than old-style vented cylinders that rely on gravity to feed hot water to the taps. However, understand that any mains pressure system is only as good as the pressure from the mains. If your pressure is too low, you may need to install a pump to increase the flow.

Unsure whether an unvented cylinder or a thermal store is right for you? Contact EasyFlow today and we will help you make an informed, accurate decision for your property.

We cover the areas of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and surrounding area. Call us on 0161 941 5571


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