Hot Water Heater Buying Guide
Taking a cold shower or paying high energy bills are not something anyone wants to do. Hot water heaters are important because they provide cost-effective and dependable hot water for your household.
Purchasing a Water Heater
Whether you’ve just experienced your first unexpectedly chilly shower or just want to lower your energy bills, investing in a new hot water tank is a wise decision. Follow these procedures to avoid having to guess about your appliance’s operation and fix problems:
- Determine the source of the fuel
- Select the type of heater you want
- Find out how much capacity you have
- Take a measurement of the space
Water Heater Fuel Sources
Determine the source of the fuel. Select the type of heater that you want to install. Find out how much capacity there is; The space should be measured.
Electric Hot Water Tanks:
- To heat water, one or two interchangeable heating components should be used. Compared to other sorts, it is less costly. There is a wide range of high-efficiency alternatives available
- Sizes range from 28 to more than 100 gallons.
- It is necessary to use a burner to heat the water
- It also requires flowing air around it. It is not possible to keep flammable items near by
- Water heaters that use gas are more costly than electric water heaters. Water heaters that use less energy than electric water heaters
- Sizes ranging from 30 to 100 gallons are available.
- In order to heat water, a burner must be used. The water must be circulated. flammable materials can’t be kept in the same area
- Water heaters that use propane are more costly than electric water heaters. Water heaters that are more energy efficient than electric ones A variety of sizes are available, from 30 to 100 gallons.
Types of Water Heaters
When selecting a water heater, take into account the size of your household as well as the availability of utilities in your location.
This is the most often seen form of water heater. They feature an insulated tank where water is heated and kept until it is required. They are available in three different fuel types: electric, liquid propane, and natural gas. Water heaters powered by natural gas or propane often consume less energy and are less expensive in operation than electric versions of the same size. When purchasing a water heater, it is important to consider its energy efficiency as well as its annual operating expenses.
- Tankless water heaters do not have a storage tank for hot water.
- Because a tankless water heater simply warms water as it is consumed, it is often more energy efficient than a standard storage tank water heater because it is not required to keep unneeded water hot.
- A tankless water heater can only deliver a limited amount of hot water at a given time.
- These units are a fantastic solution for anyone whose needs do not generally require hot water from more than two sources at the same time.
- Utility water heaters are often available in capacities ranging from 2.5 to 19 gallons.
- Water heaters for mobile homes are available.
- All heaters must be certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Electric heaters are often less expensive than gas heaters.
- You’ll also want to think about where you’re going.
If there is access to the water from the outside, a basic gas water heater will suffice. When installation, make sure to double-check your dimensions because mobile home door openings might be significantly smaller than those of a typical home.
Water Heater Tank Capacity
In the United States, storage tank water heaters are categorised based on the amount of water they can store in gallons. Identifying the amount of hot water your home requires on a regular basis is critical to ensuring enough hot water supplies throughout the year. With the exception of tankless water heaters, you’ll need a larger tank to accommodate a larger family. Another factor to consider when purchasing a storage tank water heater is the recovery rate, which refers to the number of gallons of water it can heat in an hour while simultaneously replenishing the tank.
If you want to utilize a tank water heater, you may use these suggestions as a reference to determine the size of the tank you’ll require.
Minimum Gallon Capacity Recommendations
30 gallons for a family of 1 to 2 people 40 gallons for a family of 2 to 3 people 50 gallons for a family of 3 to 4 people 80 gallons for a family of 5 or more people
Gas Water Heater:
Thirty gallons per person or every family of one to two people 40-gallon household (for 2–3 people) Fifty gallons per family of three or four people. Eighty gallons for a family of five or more
Space for the Water Heater
If you don’t have enough room for a standard-sized water heater, there are other options. All of these solutions give the same degree of performance and may be used with either electric or gas systems (natural gas or propane).
Lowboys or Short Water Heaters
These water heaters are both shorter and broader than a standard water heater. They contain the same amount of water as their larger counterparts while yet being able to fit into tight spots such as crawlspaces and below cupboards. Lowboys are available in sizes ranging from 30 to 49 inches in height and can store up to 50 gallons of water.
Tall Water Heaters
In comparison to a standard water heater, these devices are shorter and broader. These smaller containers store the same amount of water as their larger counterparts while yet being able to fit into tight spots such as crawlspaces and behind cabinets. Inches range from 30 to 49 inches in length, with a capacity of 50 gallons.
These water heaters are both shorter and broader than a standard water heater unit. They contain the same amount of water as their bigger counterparts while yet being able to fit into situations with restricted headroom, such as crawlspaces and beneath cabinets. Lowboys are available in sizes ranging from 30 to 49 inches in length and can store up to 50 gallons of water.
ENERGY STAR ®and High-Efficiency Ratings
These heaters are both shorter and broader than a standard water heater. They contain the same amount of water as their larger counterparts while also being able to fit into tight spots such as crawlspaces and behind cabinets. Lowboys range in size from 30 to 49 inches in height and can carry up to 50 gallons of water.
These water heaters are both shorter and broader than a standard water heater.
They contain the same amount of water as their larger counterparts while yet being able to fit into tight spots such as crawlspaces and below cupboards. Lowboys are available in sizes ranging from 30 to 49 inches in height and can store up to 50 gallons of water.
A Premium Electronic Gas Valve
Certain gas water heaters now include an electronic gas valve, which is more efficient. This results in more consistent and precise performance for better temperature control and faster hot water recovery than a standard mechanical gas valve since it has fewer moving parts than a mechanical gas valve. Using a light-emitting diode (LED) indicator, you can validate that the pilot is lighted and get diagnostic input on how well the system is performing. With a thermopile, this novel valve can operate entirely on its own power.
Because there is no requirement for an external power supply, installation is straightforward.
Wi-Fi Water Heater Capabilities
Electric water heaters that have a Wi-Fi module are currently available on the market. It allows you to regulate the temperature of your water from a distance. Set up a customized schedule so that hot water is only accessible in your water heater tank when it is needed, resulting in significant savings on your energy expenditure. It will also give you an alarm if your hot water supply is running low.
Water heater accessories are available to help you increase the safety and efficiency of your water heater by enhancing its functionality.
The water heater’s expansion tanks are connected to the water heater by a plumbing system. It is the purpose of these water heater tanks to store the additional volume of water that can be created when cold water is heated in the tank.
Water Heater Timers
Hot water heater timers are linked into the unit’s electrical supply and may be programmed to ensure that the water heater only uses power during specific hours of the day or night. By only using the water heater when it is absolutely necessary, you may reduce your energy consumption and save money.
Water Leak Detectors and Alarms
Water leak detectors can be found on the floor or in a pan beside the water heater, depending on the model. A liquid leak or overflow will cause the alarm to detect the liquid and sound an audio alarm, alerting the homeowner that there is a problem. Some of these alarms are also integrated with Wi-Fi, allowing you to get notifications on your smartphone.
Water Heater Insulation Blankets
They are designed to be installed above the unit and to improve the insulating properties of the water heater. Heating systems installed in garages or other unheated areas benefit from the use of insulating blankets.
Water Heater Pans
There are many pans that sit beneath the heater and catch water from leaks or overflows produced by excessive pressure in the tank. The side of the pan features a hole for a drain hose, which may be used to remove any excess water.
Water Heater Stands
Water is collected in these pans, which are located under the heater and are caused by excessive pressure in the tank. The edge of the pan features an aperture for a drain hose, which may be used to remove any excess water from the pan.
Selecting a New Water Heater
When purchasing a new water heater for your house, look for a system that will supply enough hot water for your family while also being energy efficient, allowing you to save money. Consider the many types of water heaters that are available, as well as the appropriate size and fuel source for your house.
Check out theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to learn more about the many types of water heaters available and how to choose the most appropriate model for your household needs.
Types of Water Heaters
It’s a good idea to be familiar with the many types of water heaters that are available before making a purchase:
- Before you purchase a water heater, it is a good idea to become familiar with the numerous types of water heaters available:
When deciding on the appropriate type and model of water heater for your house, take the following factors into consideration:
- Type of fuel, availability, and pricing are all important considerations. The type of fuel or energy source you choose for water heating will have an impact on not just the annual operating costs of the water heater, but also the size and energy efficiency of the heater. More information about choosing fuel kinds and sizes may be found in the section below. It is necessary to have an appropriately sized water heater in order to offer your home with enough hot water while also maximizing efficiency. For further information on size, see the sections on the various types of water heaters (linked above). Efficiencies in energy use. Check the energy efficiency of a water heater before purchasing it to ensure that you save the most energy and money possible. More information on predicting energy efficiency and costs may be found on the pages dedicated to different types of water heaters (linked above). Preparing for the purchase of a water heater should include estimating the yearly running expenses as well as comparing those costs to the costs of alternative models that are less or more energy efficient. More information on predicting expenses may be found on the pages dedicated to the various types of water heaters (linked above).
Also, look at ways to minimize your hot water consumption, such as washing your clothing in cold water instead of hot. Consider additional methods, such as drain-water heat recovery, to reduce the amount of money you spend on your water heating bill.
Fuel Types, Availability and Costs for Water Heating
It’s critical to examine the sort of fuel or energy source you’ll be using when choosing a new water heater, as well as its availability and cost, while making your decision. The type of fuel utilized by a water heating system will have an impact on not just the annual operating expenses, but also the size and energy efficiency of the water heater.
Exploring Water Heater Options by Fuel Type
It’s critical to examine the sort of fuel or energy source you’ll be using when buying a new water heater, as well as its availability and cost. The type of fuel utilized by a water heating system will have an impact on not just the annual operating expenses, but also the size and energy efficiency of the water heater itself.
- The use of electricity for traditional storage, tankless or demand-type, and heat pump water heaters is widely accessible throughout the United States. Moreover, it may be utilized in conjunction with combined water and space heating systems, such as tankless coil and indirect water heaters.
- Energy-efficient storage water heaters and indirect combined water and space heating systems can be powered by fuel oil, which is available in some parts of the United States.
- Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy. People who will have or currently have an ageothermal heat pump system installed in their houses for space heating and cooling can take advantage of this program, which is available across the United States. For further details, please seeHeat Pump Water Heaters.
- Natural gas is a type of energy source. Fuel for traditional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters as well as combined water and space heating systems (which may include tankless coil and indirect water heaters) is readily available in many parts of the United States.
- Propane Fuel for traditional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters, as well as indirect combined space and water heating systems, is readily available in many parts of the United States.
- Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. Solar water heaters are available across the United States, with the greatest availability in the Southwest.
Comparing Fuel Costs and Water Heater Types
energy derived from the sun Solar water heaters may be found all across the United States, with the largest abundance in the Southwest.
How To: Choose a Water Heater
SupplyHouse.com is an example of a website. While we frequently take a hot shower or bath for granted, it’s vital to remember that heating hot water may account for up to 20% of a household’s yearly energy expenses. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this is the second most expensive energy bill in the home, with an annual cost of between $400 to $600 on average. In the event that you want to install a new hot water heater—or replace an existing one—the kind, size, and efficiency of the unit you select will have a significant influence on its performance as well as your long-term energy savings.
Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters
While there are a variety of different types of water heaters to choose, ranging from heat pumps to solar-powered devices, tank and tankless water heaters are the most prevalent.
- Hot water heaters in the traditional, tank-style design are enormous metal cylinders that store and hold hot water in reserve for when it is needed. Because they normally have capacities ranging from 40 to 60 gallons and are around 60 inches tall by 24 inches wide, they are frequently seen in basements and laundry rooms. When you use a tankless water heater (sometimes referred to as a “on demand” water heater), it only turns on when you need hot water. Due to the lack of a holding tank, the system is not only more compact (usually 20 inches wide by 28 inches long by 10 inches deep), but also more energy efficient, since it is not responsible for maintaining a reserve of hot water (or compensating for its subsequent heat loss). Tank-style water heaters are often less expensive than tankless water heaters, although tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan: An average standard water heater will survive between 10 and 13 years, however tankless water heaters will last up to 20 years.
Consult with a professional Find qualified plumbing professionals in your area and receive free, no-obligation estimates for your plumbing project on HomeAdvisor. + Suppliers such as SupplyHouse.com provide Takagi Tankless Propane Water Heaters.
Direct- vs. Indirect-Fired Water Heaters
Water heaters are typically classified into two types: direct-fired and indirect-fired, regardless of whether the device is a tank or a tankless model.
- Indirect-firedmeans that the heat from the flame is transferred directly to the water in the tank, and these devices are most commonly seen in homes that have warm air furnaces. Heat exchangers located in the storage tank are used to transfer hot water from a boiler or furnace to the water heater’s combustion chamber. Direct-fired heaters burn fuel in a combustion chamber beneath the water storage tank, and the hot flue gases used to heat the water are called indirect-fired heaters. Because of the energy saved in the storage tank, the furnace may be turned on and off less often, resulting in energy and money savings.
It is also crucial to consider the fuel source when purchasing a water heater for your home. While there are hot water heaters that are compatible with several fuel types, including gas, oil, electricity, propane, and even solar, each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
- However, natural gas units, which provide hot water fast and are available in a variety of sizes and types, must be vented via a chimney or wall. Compared to natural gas water heaters, liquid propane water heaters require a storage tank as well as regular fuel supplies
- Nonetheless, they are more expensive. In comparison to other methods, oilwater heaters create hot water quicker
- Nevertheless, there are fewer types available for purchase. Electric water heaters are simple to install and do not require any specific ventilation, but they consume much more energy when compared to other types of energy.
SupplyHouse.com has the AO Smith 50 Gallon High Efficiency Gas Water Heater in stock.
Installing a Water Heater
Replace an existing water heater yourself if possible if you have the necessary tools and experience. In the words of Daniel O’Brian, technical expert from online store SupplyHouse.com, “replacing an old water heater with a newer similar one is something a DIYer may be able to perform.” As long as the venting, voltages, and fuel type are all compatible, you can simply turn off the gas and electric, isolate the heater, drain the tank (with caution, as the water may still be hot), separate it from the system, and switch it out for the new one.
As O’Brian points out, “keep in mind that the connections from an old unit to a new unit may not be in the exact same spot, thus some re-piping may be required.” “Consider comparing the specifications of your new unit to the locations of the connectors on your old model to see if any modifications are required for a smooth exchange.” “A new water heater installation necessitates the running of gas lines, the installation of electrical wiring, and the installation of suitable ventilation,” O’Brian continues.
“As a result, it is normally recommended that professionals handle it.” A huge range of water heaters and accessories from the most reputable brands in the business are available on SupplyHouse.com’s website.
Watch the video below or go to SupplyHouse.com to learn more about water heaters and other plumbing supplies.
Water Heater Buying Guide
In a recent test, Consumer Reports evaluated six electric and gas whole-house tankless water heaters from manufactures including Bosch, Noritz, Rheem, Rinnai, Tempra, and Trutankless. A tanked water heater from Rheem, one that is gas and one that is electric, as well as an electric heat pump water heater from Rheem, which is a variant on a tanked water heater, were all used to compare the outcomes. Based on the results of an industry-standard “heavy usage” test, we compared the performance of natural gas and electric tankless water heaters to that of their conventional tank equivalents.
- The daily equivalent of taking many showers, running the dishwasher, washing one load of clothes, and repeatedly turning the tap on and off.
- The intended outlet temperature was 120° F, and the test employed these temperatures.
- As a result, we do not have model-level ratings for refrigerators, as we do for other major appliances.
- Tankless units that were installed in lieu of an existing storage tank had a longer payback period than those installed during new construction.
Choosing a New Water Heater
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of high-tech water heaters, including tankless, heat pump, condensing gas, and point-of-use options. They help you save energy and money by reducing your carbon footprint. In the event that your existing water heater fails, you should consider replacing it with one of these types, as well as with a more energy-efficient traditional one.
Compare water heaters before you buy
Water heater technology is evolving at a breakneck pace! In addition, even while all of the new water heater models are more energy efficient than previous ones, this does not imply that they will be the most cost effective for your household. In order to make the greatest choice for your water heater, take a moment to learn how each model works, its advantages and disadvantages, and the estimated payback period to choose the finest gas water heater.
Finding the perfect balance between performance and efficiency for your unique house is the ultimate objective of this process. If you’re really into number crunching, though, you may utilize the spreadsheets available at energysavers.gov.
First, check the ratings
You should look for two ratings before purchasing any heater: the energy factor (EF), which indicates how efficient the heater is, and the first-hour recovery (for storage tank heaters) or flow rate (for water heaters) (for tankless). The efficiency factor (EF) is straightforward to comprehend: the greater the figure, the more efficient the unit. In a similar vein, the recovery rate should be interpreted as follows: the greater this figure, the more hot water you will receive in the first hour after opening the faucet.
Consequently, on the basis of the approaching winter water temperatures, look for a pump that will supply the flow rate you want.
Annual Savings by Type of Energy Efficient Water Heater
These values will fluctuate somewhat in response to changes in the price of natural gas and electricity. In general, when energy costs rise, savings will grow as a result.
Tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters do not keep 40 or 50 gallons of hot water on standby all day, saving you money on energy costs. Instead, they heat water just when you need it, reducing your carbon footprint. When you turn on the faucet, the flow sensor recognizes it. Then the gas valve is turned on, and the burners begin to burn. Incoming water temperature is measured and calculated by the heater, which then determines how rapidly the water should flow past the burners. The heater will thus operate at its maximum flow rate if the incoming water is 65 degrees Fahrenheit (a normal summer temperature).
Check with your local utility company to find out what temperature the water is.
Tankless Water Heater Pros:
- Nothing surpasses a tankless heater when it comes to giving out a large amount of hot water since it never runs out
- A tankless heater saves around 30 to 50% on energy expenses when compared to a traditional gas heater (minimum EF of.82 compared to.54 for conventional)
- An efficient tankless heater is compact and may be mounted on the wall, freeing up valuable floor space.
Tankless Water Heater Cons:
- When using a tankless heater, there is a lag period of three to eight seconds between when the burners are turned on and when the water is heated to the desired temperature. Installation may be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Tankless heaters must be flushed with specific chemicals at least once a year in order to eliminate scale and maintain energy-efficiency. You may either do it yourself or call a plumber (about $125).
What to look for with Tankless Water Heaters:
Look for one that has the greatest EF and the best flow rate on the market.
Is a tankless water heater DIY?
The unit can be installed by the homeowner if the homeowner is capable of running a new gas line, following the venting installation instructions to the letter (and in accordance with local codes), installing an electrical outlet, and rearranging the water pipelines. It’s a significant undertaking.
Is a tankless water heater for you?
You’ll need this heater if you want a never-ending supply of hot water for extended showers or to fill a gazillion-gallon spa. Just keep in mind that, during the winter, you may not be able to run many showers at the same time. The payback period for a tankless heater that has been properly installed is 16 to 22 years, or six years if you do the installation yourself.
Tankless Water Heater Details
Tankless water heaters are compact and may be mounted on a wall since they do not require a storage tank for hot water to function. They run on gas and require a particular vent to function properly.
Hybrid electric heat-pump water heater
Water heaters that use a hybrid heat-pump system operate by drawing heat from the surrounding air and pushing it into the storage tank. So, if you live in a warm area and install a heat pump in your hot attic or garage, the heat pump alone can help you save money on energy costs. The traditional heating coils are only activated when the heat pump is unable to meet the demand. You may save money on your energy bills by installing your water heater in an already heated area.
However, if you choose to heat your home with natural gas, you will almost certainly come out ahead. Hybrid heat pump water heaters are now priced between $1,200 and $1,400 in home centers, although the cost is decreasing.
Hybrid electric heat-pump water heater pros:
Water heaters that use a hybrid heat-pump system operate by drawing heat from the surrounding air and pushing it into a storage tank to heat water. Consequently, if you live in a warm region and install a heat pump in a hot attic or garage, the heat pump alone can help you save money. When the heat pump is no longer able to meet the demand, the traditional heating coils are activated. You may save money on energy by installing your water heater in an already heated area. If you choose to heat your home with natural gas, on the other hand, you will almost certainly be ahead of the curve.
Hybrid electric heat-pump water heater cons:
- Hybrid heaters are significantly more expensive than a standard electric heater. The heat pump is taller (and in some cases broader) than the electric heater that you are now using. Check to see if the unit will fit
- In order to reduce the danger of heat pump damage caused by leaking pipes, certain heaters are “side piped.” If you use one of those models, you’ll have to reroute the water lines. The air filter will need to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to preserve working efficiency
- It is not possible to place the heater in a closet since it requires at least 1,000 cubic feet of space around it.
What to look for with hybrid electric heat-pump water heaters:
The EF rating is 2.0, and the “first-hour rating” is the highest.
Is a hybrid electric heat-pump water heater DIY?
You can install this yourself if you are capable of reconfiguring water lines and connecting electrical wire. But take note of the following: these suckers are large and hefty (about 200 lbs. empty). Get some assistance!
Is a hybrid electric heat-pump water heater for you?
For those who live in a hotter area and want to heat their water with electricity, an electric hybrid heat pump will save you the most money over a traditional water heater. In colder areas, you’ll still save money during the summer since you won’t have to pay to heat the surrounding air, which means you’ll spend less money overall. The sooner the payback period is, the higher your electric prices are and the warmer your year-round environment is. In many circumstances, the repayment period might be as little as four years in length.
Electric Hybrid Heat Pump Details
The water is heated using an electric heat pump located on the storage tank, which draws heat from the surrounding air to do so. It is equipped with backup heating coils for when demand is very strong.
Condensing gas water heaters
Condensing gas heaters are similar to conventional heaters in that they include a tank. However, that is where the resemblance ends. The exhaust gases are blown via a coil at the bottom of the tank rather than being sent out the chimney, which saves energy by not wasting it. Incoming cold water circulates around the coil, capturing the majority of the heat. It is for this reason why condensing gas water heaters are so energy efficient (up to 96 percent thermal efficiency). Despite the fact that it is a storage tank design with “standby loss,” the enhanced efficiency more than compensates for this loss.
Condensing gas water heater p ros:
- It is the most energy-efficient tank-style water heater available on the market
- It has an exceptional “first-hour” recovery rate, which means you will never run out of hot water
- It is the most environmentally friendly water heater available on the market.
Condensing gas water heater cons:
- It is the most energy-efficient tank-style water heater available on the market
- It has an exceptional “first-hour” recovery rate, which means you will never run out of hot water
- It is the most environmentally friendly water heater available on the market
What to look for with a condensing gas water heater:
Look for a heater that has a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent when purchasing one.
Is a condensing gas water heater DIY?
Providing you are familiar with gas pipe configuration, new venting installation, and the addition of a 110-volt outlet, you may install this heater.
Is a condensing gas water heater for you?
If you’re replacing an old gas water heater and want a large amount of hot water for lengthy or numerous showers and tub fills, as well as a high flow rate in both the summer and winter, this may be the best option for you.
In addition, it needs the least amount of repiping and provides the quickest payback. With modern models, you may expect a payback period of eight years.
Condensing Water Heater Details
The high-efficiency relatives of regular gas water heaters, condensing models are the most popular choice. However, instead of heating air, they heat water, which is similar to the operation of a high-efficiency condensing furnace. Through a PVC pipe, they vent their fumes to the outside.
Electric point-of-use tankless water heaters
A “POU” heater is not a substitute for your primary water heater. However, it can help you save money on your water bill by reducing the amount of water wasted while you’re waiting for hot water to come at the faucet. Located under the sink, this little heater (about the size of a cigar box) is connected to the water supply between the cold water valve and the hot water faucet. POU heaters are available for purchase at home improvement stores and online for approximately $230.
Electric point-of-use tankless water heaters pros
- A point-of-use heater decreases water waste while also significantly shortening the time it takes to get hot water. It increases the efficiency of your primary water heater by removing the need for frequent faucet cycling.
Electric point-of-use tankless water heaters cons:
- The installation of a point-of-use heater increases the expense of your water heater project. a new high-amperage circuit at 220-volts or 110-volts is required
What to look for with electric point-of-use tankless water heaters:
Based on winter water temperatures, the maximum EF and best flow rate were achieved.
Is an electric point-of-use tankless water heater DIY?
Installing this water heater is simple if you understand how to operate a 110-volt or a 220-volt circuit. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to the plumbing.
Is an electric point-of-use tankless water heater for you?
The ideal solution for long lines between the water heater and the kitchen and bathroom faucets is a POU heater. A point-of-use heater has a payback period of around three years based only on water savings.
Electric Point-of-Use Water Heater Details
Point-of-use water heaters are small enough to fit beneath a sink and increase the heat of incoming water, reducing the amount of water wasted while waiting for hot water.
Conventional gas water heaters
In recent years, conventional water heaters have seen significant improvements. The new ones include greater insulation, motorized dampers to help with energy efficiency, and an energy efficiency factor of at least 0.67.
Conventional gas water heater pros:
- Lowest initial outlay
- Quickest and most straightforward installation There are no fans or pumps to wear out. Over decades of usage, it has shown to be dependable.
Conventional gas water heater cons:
If you want an emergency replacement, do not intend to remain in your house for an extended period of time, or just do not require a large amount of hot water, a standard unit may be the most cost-effective solution.
Conventional Gas Water Heater
Conventional gas water heaters, while not as efficient as electric water heaters, are easy and dependable, and they may be the most cost-effective and best solution for you.
How to Choose a Water Heater
Heating water is the second most energy-intensive single appliance in the home, behind lighting. As much as we all love a relaxing hot shower, growing energy bills, along with their negative environmental impact, indicate that now is a good time to consider the different solutions presently available.
Types of Water Heaters
- Storage tank: The most prevalent type of hot water system seen in residential settings. Electricity, natural gas, oil, or propane are used to keep the water in the storage tank continually heated. When a faucet is turned on, hot water is taken out of the top of the tank and cold water is forced into the tank from the bottom to replace it. Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, are a type of water heater that does not store water. When water runs through it without the need for a tank, electricity or gas is used to heat the water. Solar: After passing through a solar collector, where it is warmed by the sun, water is cycled back into the tank. Alternatively, if the water in the tank is not hot enough, a standard water heater may be used to raise the temperature to the necessary level. Heat Pump: A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one location to another using electricity. You may use a heat pump for water heating on its own or in conjunction with your home’s heating and air conditioning system.
Factors in Choosing a Water Heater
So, which sort of water heater is the most appropriate for your household? Numerous elements must be taken into consideration, including the cost of the system and installation, the cost and availability of energy sources, the energy factor (EF) rating of the water heater, and whether or not the system complies with modern water heater standards. EF ratings were developed by the United States Department of Energy to allow consumers to evaluate the energy efficiency of different items. Electric heat pump types have an efficiency factor of 2.0, whereas gas storage tank heaters have an efficiency factor of just 0.5, according to the EF scale.
The higher the efficiency factor (EF), the more efficient the water heater is rated. The EF number takes into consideration the following factors:
- Efficacy of Heat Recovery: The efficiency with which heat is transferred to water. Standby Loss: The proportion of heat loss from the stored water per hour measured in percentage. Cycling Loss: The loss of heat that occurs while the water circulates through the system.
New water heater efficiency rules were implemented on April 16, 2015, as part of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). All new water heaters must fulfill stricter, higher-efficiency specifications than previous models. The advantage is that any new water heater will be more energy efficient, which will result in you saving money.
Water Heater Energy Cost Calculator
Electricity, natural gas, or propane are the most common fuels for water heaters. Energy prices and efficiency ratings can vary greatly from one region to another, so enter the data in the calculator below to compare energy expenses in your location. While the actual amount spent may vary depending on how much hot water you consume, the calculator will provide a comparative analysis of the various energy sources that are accessible. Tank type water heater efficiency ratings and energy prices in the United States are represented by the calculator’s default settings, which are representative of average values for 2015.
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Pros and Cons of Different Types of Hot Water Heaters
Here are some of the pros and downsides of the most prevalent types of water heaters: electric, gas, and solar.
Storage Hot Water Heaters:
- Listed below are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular types of water heaters:
Tankless Hot Water Heaters:
- They take up minimal space and may be put either inside or outside a building. Meets NAECA requirements without increasing the size of the system or the cost of installation. Energy loss during standby is little or nonexistent
- Ones of storage tanks that use 20 percent to 30 percent less energy than equivalent models
- The amount of hot water that can be produced is limited by the size of the unit. It can be expensive and time-consuming to set up. a life expectancy of 20 years or more
- 0.75 on the EF scale on average
- Tankless systems for the entire house range in price from $600-$1000 or more, not including installation.
Solar Hot Water Heaters:
- Low to non-existent energy costs
- Savings can cover the cost of the device in 8-12 years. It is necessary for the collector to be exposed to direct sunlight throughout the year. Installation is expensive and time-consuming. In most cases, a conventional water heater is used as a backup. a life expectancy of 20 years or more
- Kits for do-it-yourselfers are available for $2,000 each. The cost of a professionally installed system ranges from $5,000 to $7,000.
Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters:
- Operating costs are low. This product may only be placed in temperatures ranging from 40° to 90° F (4° to 32° C). In a frigid environment, it is impossible to work productively
- A heat pump that combines heating, cooling, and water heating
- Or a heat pump that is solely dedicated to the task of water heating
- Are all options available. Water heaters that use solar energy can be two to three times more energy efficient than electric water heaters. Storage water heaters have a higher starting cost than tankless water heaters. In colder areas, employing a heat pump water heater may increase the amount of energy required for heating and cooling. Systems range in price from $1,400 to $2,000, not including installation.
Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, which are available in electric, natural gas, and propane variants, are regarded to be more energy efficient than storage tanks, but they are significantly more expensive to purchase and install. When using a gas tankless water heater, you may need to upgrade your gas line and make adjustments to your vent pipe, whereas big electric tankless water heaters may draw more current than your home is capable of handling. Miniature electric units for single-use are less expensive and may be put beneath a sink to save on space.
Check the suggested flow rate on tankless water heaters to see whether it is sufficient for your requirements before purchasing one.
While they will not run out of hot water like traditional storage tanks, several users can cause the flow rate to surpass the capacity, causing the water temperature to decrease significantly.
Solar Hot Water Heaters
Tough to beat for energy efficiency, tankless water heaters are available in electric, natural gas, and propane types. However, they are significantly more expensive to purchase and install than storage tanks. When using a gas tankless water heater, you may need to upgrade your gas line and modify your vent pipe, whereas large electric tankless water heaters may take more current than your home is capable of handling. A small electric device for single usage is more cost effective and may be put under a sink.
Remember to verify the suggested flow rate on tankless water heaters to ensure that it is sufficient for your need.
Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters
As the name implies, heat pump water heaters utilize electricity to transmit heat from one location to another, which is why they are so energy efficient. It’s not difficult to understand how an air-source heat pump water heater works. It draws energy from the surrounding air and utilizes it to heat the water. Stand-alone systems with a tank and backup heating elements are available, or you may retrofit an existing electric storage tank heater with one of these systems. When it comes to working in cold areas, heat pumps perform best in temperatures ranging between 40° and 90°F (4° and 32°C).
Heat pump systems are two to three times more energy efficient than traditional storage tank types, and they have a lower overall cost of ownership than these variants.
It is advised that homeowners who are considering obtaining a heat pump water heater are aware of the concerns and criteria prior to making their purchase.
How Water Heater Energy Efficiency Payback
Heat pump water heaters use electricity to transfer heat from one location to another, which explains why they are so efficient in their performance. When a stand-alone air-source heat pump water heater is used, it draws heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water heater itself. Stand-alone systems with a tank and backup heating components are available, as is the option of retrofitting an existing electric storage tank heater. Heat pumps perform poorly in frigid areas and perform best in moderate temperature zones that range between 40° and 90° F (4° and 32° C).
Heat pump systems are two to three times more energy efficient than ordinary storage tank types, and therefore have a lower overall cost of ownership than those models.
They do, however, continue to emit CO2 and can be prohibitively expensive to set up. It is advised that homeowners who are considering acquiring a heat pump water heater are aware of the concerns and criteria prior to making their purchase decision.
How to Choose a New Water Heater
It’s the dead of winter, and it’s bitterly cold outside, so you seek refuge in the steaming hot confines of your morning shower to keep warm. When the lights are dimmed, the water splashes on your face and rolls down your back. Each muscle in your body begins to relax, one by one, as the warmth of the water makes its way down your legs and into your frigid, restless feet. After lathering yourself with soap and shampoo, you fall against the warm tile, your eyes closed, and rest your head on it.
- You try turning down the cold water all the way to zero without success.
- The harsh realization sinks in: your water heater has just purchased the entire property.
- You’re confronted with an overwhelming number of brands and sizes to pick from.
- And what exactly is the problem with these heaters that don’t even have a tank on them?
- Unfortunately, your big-box home-improvement employee is of no assistance; you’ll have to sort this one out on your own, as previously said.
- The information in this article will take you step-by-step through the process of acquiring a replacement water heater.
Tips for Choosing a Water Heater – HVAC Near You? Customer-Focused Heating & Cooling Repair
According to the manufacturer, “the least costly water heaters to purchase are the most expensive to run.”
Why Buy An Energy Efficient Water Heater?
Water heating is often the third most expensive energy item in a household’s budget (after space heating and cooling). It accounts for around 14 percent of your total electricity cost on average. If your gas water heater is more than ten years old, the chances are that it has an efficiency of no more than fifty percent. An aging water heater can function at a very low efficiency for many years until it ultimately dies due to wear and tear. If you want to save money on your water heating expenditures, one option is to replace your old water heater with a new, higher-efficiency one.
About Water Heater Efficiency
The energy factor of a water heater is used to determine its efficiency (EF). Recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycle losses are all factors that influence EF. The higher the efficiency factor (EF), the more efficient the water heater is rated. Electric resistance water heaters have an EF ranging between 0.7 and 0.95; gas water heaters have an EF ranging between 0.5 and 0.6, with a few high-efficiency models having an EF of around 0.8; oil water heaters have an EF ranging between 0.7 and 0.85; and heat pump water heaters have an EF ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 (see table).
The FHR is a measurement of how much hot water the heater will be able to supply at peak usage.
For this reason, when purchasing a water heater, estimate your household’s peak-hour consumption and seek for a unit with an FHR in the range of that estimate. Also, keep in mind that a larger tank does not always equate to a higher FHR rating.
Tips for Buying a New Water Heater
- Choose a water heater with an adequate first-hour rating (FHR) based on your family’s peak-hour hot water demand estimation. Determine which sort of fuel is most suited for your water heater. If you’re thinking about using electricity for water heating, check with your local utility provider to see what their off-peak electricity costs are. If this is a possibility, it may be a compelling reason to go with electric water heaters instead of gas. Gas, oil, and propane water heaters are less expensive to operate than electric water heaters
- They also last longer. If you live in a mild environment (i.e., one with relatively modest heating loads), you might consider installing a Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH), which is more energy efficient than a typical electric water heater (Figure 1). Although a high-efficiency water heater (HPWH) has a high initial cost, it may save you up to 50% on your water heating expenditure. When purchasing gas- and oil-fired water heaters, seek for units that have sealed combustion or power venting to minimize back-drafting of combustion gases into the residence, both for safety and energy efficiency reasons. If all other factors are equal, use a water heater with the greatest energy factor available (EF). It is important to remember, however, that the EF of one type of heater is not comparable to the EF of another type of heater. Consider the following example: an electric water heater with an efficiency rating of 0.9 may be more expensive to operate than a gas water heater with an efficiency rating of 0.7. If at all possible, avoid placing the water heater in an unheated basement or crawlspace. Additionally, make an effort to keep the length of pipe runs to your bathroom and kitchen to a minimum.
Tips for Lowering Your Water Heater’s Energy Usage
- Incorporating aerators into faucets and low-flow shower heads can potentially lower your hot water use by half. Fix dripping faucets and dripping shower heads. A drop per second leak might cost $1 per month if it is not repaired. It is recommended that you insulate your hot water storage tank and pipelines, but avoid covering the tank thermostats. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120°F by lowering the thermostat(s). Electric water heaters frequently contain two thermostats, one for the upper heating element and another for the lower heating element. Both of these elements should be set to the same level in order to avoid one element performing all of the work and wearing down prematurely. Install a timer on your electric water heater so that it can automatically turn off the hot water at night and put it back on in the morning. When used properly, an inexpensive timer may pay for itself in less than a year. Install a heat trap above the water heater to keep it from overheating. When a heat trap is installed, it is as simple as a check valve or a piping layout that prevents “thermosyphoning,” or hot water rising up from the tank and into the pipes, minimizing standby losses. Every three months, drain a quart of water from your hot water tank to remove sediment that limits heat transmission and reduces the effectiveness of the unit
- Shower more frequently than bathe. Baths account for the majority of hot water use in the normal home. For a bath, you need 15 to 25 gallons of hot water, and for a 5-minute shower, you use less than 10 gallons of hot water.
What’s New: Water Heaters
Point-of-use Water heaters are also referred to as “tankless” heaters since they do not have (or have just a small) storage tank to hold water. They are relatively modest machines that offer hot water on demand and are installed in bathrooms. They run on natural gas or electricity and may be placed in high-demand areas, like as under kitchen sinks, to meet demand. They are frequently more expensive to purchase than a traditional water heater, but they can be less expensive to run because they do not keep a tank of hot water filled when not in use.
When considering whether to install a tankless water heater in your house, ensure that the lower capacity will be sufficient for your needs.
Solar water heaters have the potential to cut the annual fuel costs associated with providing hot water to your house by more than half.
During the summer, it may be sufficient to give all of the necessary heat.
Summertime hot water requirements for a residence can be met almost entirely by a desuperheater, especially in hot areas.