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Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the different types of heat exchangers?
- What is the thermostat dial for? I want hotter water, so I turn the knob to 150. Yet cold water is still coming out.
- Why is it not advisable to put a check valve before a storage heater?
- How much savings can I expect from solar water heaters?
- How are evacuated tubes different from flat solar panel in terms of installation and maintenance?
- How do evacuated tubes and flat solar panels differ in performance?
- What are the advantages of heat pumps over solar water heaters?
- How does the "Aircon Heater" compare to the heat pump water system?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the "aircon heater" system?
- Will a 6 kW electric storage heater be costlier to operate than a 3 kW elecric storage heater?
- Do you offer outdoor water-proof electric water heaters?
- LP Gas-fired water heaters? Aren't they dangerous?
- How do instant heaters compare to storage heaters?
- Are tankless or instantaneous water heaters more energy saving than tank-type storage water heaters?
- How does the quality of hot water of storage water heaters compare with that of instant water heaters?
- Can I use an instant water heater for my bath tub?
- My instant heater at low setting used to be hot enough. But now, why do I have to set it to medium/high to get a warm shower?
"Aiho" is our branch's name in Angeles City, Pampanga. "Aiho" is a romanization of "Likes good" in Fookien Chinese. You can pronounce it as the dwarves in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves would pronounce it, but without the leading "h".
We are sorry, but unfortunately our product prices are not yet online. We are in the process of constructing our online store to not only display prices but also allow online ordering. In the mean time, please call our office or email us about your requirements so we can give you quotations. Please bear with us.
Three common heat exchangers are tube-in-tube, shell-in-tube, and plate type.
Tube-in-tube heat exchanger is a common type of heat exchanger used in heat pump water heaters. Tube-in-tube suffers from moderate pressure drops. Shell-in-tube improves on the tube-in-tube with better flow rate and thus, low pressure drop.
Plate heat exchanger has very good heat transfer rate. It is also space saving, but is not normally suitable for direct applications as the plates are relatively easily contaminated.
What is the thermostat dial for? I want hotter water, so I turn the knob to 150. Yet cold water is still coming out.
Some A.O. Smith storage water heaters have an external knob or dial to directly control the heater thermostat. The set temperature (usually in °F) approximately controls the maximum temperature of the water stored in the water heater. You don't have to set the knob to 150°F to get hot water. If the water coming out of your heater outlet is just as cold as inlet water, then your water heater maybe non-functional due to several possible reasons, including lack of electricity or gas, or busted heating element or other parts.
Check valves allow water to flow only in one direction. While it seems sensible to put a check valve before a storage heater to prevent hot water from going back out of the heater or to prevent draining of the tank, this practice is discouraged for safety reasons. This is due to the thermal expansion of water when it is being heated inside the storage heater. As water gets hotter, its volume and pressure increases. For normal water heater operation, this increase is not very significant. However, a check valve will prevent the natural expansion of water outside the water heater, thereby increasing pressure on the water heater tank. Excessive water pressure in the water heater tank is released through the pressure relief valve. An option is to install an expansion tank with the storage heater.
Solar energy is free. However, it is not available 24 hours a day. Thus, a solar water heating system should normally require a backup heating system. The most common backup used in the market are electric storage water heaters.
Solar energy can be maximized for water heating use by providing enough collector panels and large enough hot water storage. With limited roof or surface area dedicated to solar panels, this solution is not usually practical.
Ultimately, the sizing and behavior of a solar water heating system is dependent on hot water usage. Households that use a sizeable fraction of their stored hot water at night can expect their backup system to run half of the time.
Conservatively, one can save half of their heating operating costs using solar water heating. Thus, investing on a good backup system is also advisable.
Evacuated tubes and flat panels both collect solar energy. Besides their performance, they are also different in terms of installation requirements and maintenance. Because evacuated tubes are made of several tubes and have spaces between the tubes, they require less structural work compared to flat panels. Flat panels require more stable frames to prevent wind from moving the panels. Wind passes through evacuated tubes.
When evacuated tubes are damaged, only the damaged tubes need to be replaced.
In terms of solar energy collected per collector area, evacuated tubes have higher efficiency. Nevertheless, per solar panel area, flat panels have larger collector area, and will perform better in the Philippine climate.
Evacuated tubes are designed to collect solar energy at higher efficiencies within a wider range of angles with regards to the sun's position. Evacuated tubes can reach higher temperature than flat panels. They are best suited in climates when total solarization per day is not high.
Flat panels can collect the most energy when they are perpendicular to the sun's rays. Thus, flat panel performance is affected more by the angle with respect to the sun.
Physically, however, per panel area, flat collector area will be larger than evacuated tube collector area. In effect, the lower efficiency of the flat collector is balanced with its larger collector area.
Heat Pumps have distinct advantages over solar water heaters:
- Heat pumps are easier to install, and they require so much less installation space than solar panels
- Heat pumps will work at night, not requiring backup heating systems
- Heat pumps can deliver more hot water over the day
- Heat pumps work well in all weather conditions
- In a commercial installation of a heat pump water heater, the air duct can be connected to the output of the air conditioning system to give improved performance
- Heat pumps are able to deliver free cooled air simultaneously to satisfy additional cooling system requirements
The "Aircon Heater" system produces hot water by transferring condenser heat to water. In establishments running air conditioning systems during operational hours, hot water can therefore be generated for "free", as a byproduct of air conditioner operation.
The heat pump water heating system transfers heat from the air to water, and releases cooler air.
In theory, both air conditioner and heat pump can be used together to realize most of the same savings as the "Aircon Heater" without its disadvantages. By ducting the cool air released by the heat pump to the air conditioned rooms, the ambient temperatures of those rooms are lowered, thus lessening the load of the air conditioner. As energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed or transferred, the air conditioner operational cost reduction is approximately proportional to the hot water production of the heat pump. Unfortunately, this system will require higher initial investment cost.
Heat pumps and Air Conditioners use the same principle of transferring heat from one medium or area to another. Heat Pump uses reverse refrigeration, takes in ambient heat from the surrounding air and transfers that to water. The air conditioner transfers heat from a room to the outside.
The Air Conditioner-Heater system is a condenser refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger heating system that transfers heat energy released by the air conditioner to water, instead of to an area outside of the air conditioned room. It is akin to a heat pump system, only the source of heat transferred to water is the condenser heat from the air conditioner.
In a tropical country like the Philippines, most commercial establishments, hotels and buildings provide round-the-clock air conditioning system. Since the air conditioning system is already present, the "Aircon Heater" system promises to use air conditioner generated condenser heat to provide free hot water.
As most things free (and not free), this system has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Hot water can be provided for "free" -- as part of air conditioning expense
- Round-the-clock hot water provision cannot be guaranteed because hot water production is dependent on air conditioner operation. When the air conditioner operates less (as during cold and rainy weather when hot water demand is at peak), less or inadequate hot water is available
- For year round stable hot water supply, backup heating system is required. This maybe in the form of additional heat pumps or electric or gas-fired storage heaters
- There is the risk over the long run that if the heat exchanger leaks, water from the system will enter the refrigerant line, destroying the compressor of the condenser unit
- Original air conditioner warranty is usually void when the air conditioner is modified into an aircon heater
No. Fundamentally, their energy consumption is the same. A 6 kW water heater will use more power while heating but will only operate half the time as a 3 kW water heater which has a slower recovery rate. Given a volume of water, the amount of heat needed to raise its temperature to a desired temperature does not change. Amount of heat = heating rate x heating time. Therefore, a higher kilowatt heater will have a shorter heating time; a low kilowatt heater will have longer heating time.
No, we don't offer outdoor water-proof electric water heaters. Due to U.S.A. regulations on the danger of high-wattage appliances in outdoor locations, A.O. Smith does not manufacture outdoor electric water heaters.
Gas-fired water heaters are no more dangerous than your LPG stove right in your kitchen. Using gas to heat water is nothing new. Most commercial systems, hotels and motels, the food courts in the malls, canteens in your office building, restaurants using dish washers, and gyms use LPG storage water heaters. The Operating cost of an LPG water heater is roughly half of an equivalent electric water heater. That's why it is popular for commercial use requiring centralized water heating systems.
Instantaneous or tankless heaters and storage heaters have their distinct advantages and disadvantages over each other.
|Aspect||Instantaneous Heaters||Storage Heaters|
|Space||Minimal space required||Takes more space. Space for installation must be planned.|
|Quality of Water||Water temperature is dependent on flow rate. Increasing flow decreases hot water temperature.||Given adequate storage capacity sizing, provides quality hot water at any flow rate.|
|Heating||Dependent on high recovery rates; requires higher kilowatt capacity to provide adequate hot water||Can depend on storage capacity to provide adequate hot water; can use lower kilowatt capacity|
|Electrical Requirements||Due to higher kilowatt capacity, requires larger wire sizes and circuit breaker amperage. For a house/hotel with large number of electric instantaneous heaters, costs of electrical equipment (and generator sets) is very high.||Adequately sized hot water storage capacity can minimize electrical equipment costs.|
|Energy Efficiency||Because water is not stored, total electric power consumption is less. Power consumption can be 15 to 20% less than that of storage heaters, when hot water is not regularly used.||Heat loss occurs from storage of hot water. This is minimized by very good insulation.|
|Piping Requirements||Fixtures are usually installed not far from the heaters and especially for single point use, minimal piping is needed.||Storage heaters are used usually for centralized heating. Cold and hot lines are separate. Piping costs will be higher.|
|Future-Proofing||Difficult and costly to move from single point piping to centralized hot water piping.||Centralized storage heaters can be more easily retrofitted with newer technologies like solar water heating and heat pump water heaters.|
Are tankless or instantaneous water heaters more energy saving than tank-type storage water heaters?
Tank-type storage water heaters suffer from standby heat loss. This is mitigated by very good insulation. Storage water heaters are mostly used in centralized water heating systems which can also suffer heat loss from improperly insulated pipes, especially when fixtures are distant from the heaters.
Tankless or instantaneous water heaters use electricity or LPG when hot water is demanded. Thus, instant water heaters do not have heat loss from storage of hot water. In the general case, instantaneous water heaters are potentially more energy saving than storage water heaters. Savings can be as high as 10 - 15% compared to a tank-type water heater. It really depends on design and usage. For a single person household, tank-based water heaters will suffer more from standby heat loss; Tankless heaters are recommended. For a family household use, standby heat loss of tank-type water heaters is minimal.
If hot water volume required is however very high, instant water heaters will need higher wattage to provide the same amount of hot water as storage water heaters. In areas where cost of electricity is dependent on peak wattage and time, instant water heaters can thus suffer from high wattage penalties.
How does the quality of hot water of storage water heaters compare with that of instant water heaters?
The quality of hot water differs dramatically between that of storage water heaters and instant water heaters. Because storage water heaters have hot water ready, storage water heaters can provide hot water at uniform temperatures (until stored hot water runs out). The water temperature out of instant water heaters, however, is flow dependent. At any given heater setting, higher volume (stronger flow) of water will be shades cooler than a weaker flow of water. When showering under an instant shower or multipoint water heaters, you may notice that the water temperature fluctuates. This makes it harder for you to get the desired temperature and flow for your shower.
For high class lifestyle, similar to that provided by four or five star hotels, storage water heaters are necessary to provide quality hot water.
The hot water output of an instant water heater is dependent on the flow rate of water. If your bath tub fixture has a high flow rate (to fill the bath tub faster), the pooled water temperature might be inadequate. Unless your instant water heater has a very high heating capacity, you might have to decrease water flow (and wait longer for the tub to fill) to get enough. We recommend storage heaters for bath tub use.
My instant heater at low setting used to be hot enough. But now, why do I have to set it to medium/high to get a warm shower?
The hot water output of instant shower and multipoint electric heaters depends on several factors. When the water from your shower heater is not as warm or comfortable as before, it can simply be due to colder climate and thus cooler source water or even higher water volume. Remember, your water heater at its various heating setting uses fixed electric power to raise water temperature. More water means needing more power to raise its temperature. Colder water means requiring more power to raise to a desired temperature.
Nevertheless, shower heaters can also lose their heating efficiency overtime due to calcium deposits in their small inner tanks. In areas with hard water (e.g. Alabang, deep well water sources), calcium deposits can clog and render inefficient the heating elements of your shower heater. While your heater is using the same kilowatt input, it is unable to heat water at its full capacity, thus wasting electricity and providing less than desired hot water.
For the Do-It-Yourself, resolving the issue can be as simple as opening your heater and cleaning its tank.
In purchasing your instant heater, especially when you know your area water is hard, be sure to look for heaters with easily replaceable and cleanable tanks and elements.
Membrane-type or diaphragm pressure tanks separate air from water with a membrane. These tanks either come with pressurized air cells or a bladder for water. Volume capacity for these tanks are measured solely for water volume. For a specified volume requirement, a physically smaller diaphram tank will work at the same capacity as a larger conventional pressure tank.
Why is my water meter continuously moving even though all our faucets and fixtures are closed already?
If your water meter is registering flow even when all fixtures are closed, it can be due to leaks in the piping system, unauthorized taps or backflow of water to the mains.
Backflow of water can occur if you are using an overhead water tank system and the pressure in your overhead tank is higher than that of the mains (Nawasa). If this occurs, install a check valve after your water meter to prevent backflows and unnecessarily high water bills.
Sizing of pumps and filters for swimming pools is dependent on the size of the swimming pool, i.e. volume of water, and the expected usage of the swimming pool.
Calculating the volume of a box-shaped swimming pool is easiest. The volume of the pool will be length x width x depth. For a pool with a slanted slope, we use the average of the lowest and highest depth of the pool. For example, given a pool 10 feet wide and 20 feet long, with its shallowest depth at 3 feet and a maximum depth of 5 ft, the volume in cubic feet is 10 x 20 x ((3 + 5) / 2) = 800 ft³. 1 ft³ = 7.48 US gallons, so 800 ft³ is around 5984 gallons.
Expected usage affects the sizing of pool equipment because it dictates the duration by which the whole pool water volume should be filtered. This is called the turnover cycle. For residential use, 8 hours turnover cycle is normally used. For commercial use, i.e. resorts and hotels, 6 hours turnover cycle is used.
The swimming pool pump must be able to circulate the pool water volume within the turnover time. Pool water will pass through the filter once per turnover cycle. Thus both the pump and filter must be able to handle a flow rate of (water volume / turnover cycle).
For our previous example, volume = 5984 gallons. For residential use, required flow rate = 5984 gallons / 8 hours = 748 gph or 12.47 gpm. For commercial use, required flow rate = 5984 gallons / 6 hours = 997.33 gph or 16.62 gpm.
Pool pumps and filters are given gpm ratings. A properly sized pump will have a gpm nearest the required flow rate. A properly sized filter will be the smallest filter that equals or exceeds the pump's actual flow rate.
Starting last April, we've had so many calls from people asking about Amana Water Park. They have probably found our contact number through various web searches. We are however just a supplier to the new resort in Pandi, Bulacan. Nevertheless, we've done our share of friendly directory assistance without the 2 Peso extra charge Bayantel or PLDT might have put on their telephone bills.
To cut the story short, you can see their rates by visiting www.amanawaterparkphilippines.com/rates.html.