Many homeowners rely on hot water cylinders to supply heated water to their homes. A hot cylinder provides you with a reliable source of hot water running throughout your home unless you want to deal with cold showers. However, selecting the right type of hot water cylinder for your home can be challenging, given the wide range of offers in the market. 

Choosing the right type of hot water cylinder can make all the difference in your home, saving you energy and even money. So, this guide helps you understand the different types of domestic cylinders and how they work.

How hot water cylinders work

A hot water cylinder is useful for storing water and supply heated water in modern homes. They are used in both domestic and commercial buildings to ensure a steady supply of hot water. When looking into hot water cylinders, you will encounter two primary types: direct hot water cylinders and indirect hot water cylinders.

In a direct cylinder, the water is heated via immersion heaters found in the cylinder itself. Some cylinders are made up of more than one immersion heater to boost performance. On the other hand, an indirect hot water cylinder relies on outside appliances such as a boiler to generate hot water. But some indirect hot water cylinders also have an immersion heater for additional heating.

Types of hot water cylinders

You will find a wide range of hot water cylinders in the market, and your choice may depend on your hot water needs and your home. Hot water cylinders can further be categorized into vented and unvented cylinders. The main distinction between them is how they get the water supply. But in both cylinders, cold water goes into the base of the cylinder, then rises to the top when heated. The cycle continues as the base is replaced with cold water again.

Unvented cylinder

An unvented hot water cylinder system gets its water directly from the cold mains water pressure and supplies hot water to taps and showers at mains pressure. It is a pressurized hot water system suitable for improving how your water taps perform. 

The best thing about it is that the water in the system can be heated indirectly via solar technology to save you more on energy costs. It is also suitable if you don’t have much space because a storage tank is not necessary. It is installed quickly and can be located anywhere in your home. 

Vented cylinder

The vented cylinder system utilizes gravity rather than water pressure. In this kind of system, water enters from a cold water tank and is kept in the loft, then goes through a vent pipe to a hot water cylinder located within the property. The venting allows the water to expand in the cylinder, and the excess water condenses safely into the cold tank.

A vented cylinder uses gravity to supply hot water around the home, so it must be installed below the cold water storage. It is easy to maintain and cheaper than the other hot water cylinder systems. But it needs more space due to the cold water storage tank.

The bottom line

When choosing a hot water cylinder, consider the number of bathrooms and showers you have in your home.