Getting the Lowdown on a Water Heat Exchanger

If you’re looking for a unique way to heat your home, garage or other interior space, consider choosing a water heat exchanger. Discover how these innovative systems work, common types and find out if they’re right for your particular heating project today.

What Is It?

Basically, an exchanger works by using air or liquid to collect heat from a heat source and then transfer it to another medium and location. While the entire process sounds complicated, this type of heater allows you to use solar-powered heating alternatives or use your current hot water heater to heat an area of your home.

Water or air is heated, then sent through a series of copper, aluminium or steel tubing. This tubing transfers the heat to air or another liquid. The air is then forced into your room through a blower, or the liquid tubing allows heat to radiate out into the area you need to heat. Depending on the type of liquid, heat source and the amount of heat you need for your area, the best type of exchanger for your project can vary.

Types of Exchangers

Water heat exchangers typically use a coil-in-tank, shell-and-tube or tube-in-tube design. Each of these types are named exactly how they work. A coil-in-tank heater has a coil of tubing in a tank, which heats up the liquid in the tank in order to transfer it to another area.

A shell-and-tube design is slightly more efficient, but operates with the same general principles. It has a loop of liquid, typically water, that is being heated, then another loop that transfers the heat to the shell. Finally, a tube-in-tube design is the most efficient heat transfer option. Just like the shell-and-tube design, there are two loops of liquid. However, both the heated water and the heat-transfer liquid are in direct contact, making this heat exchanger far more efficient.