How To Pick A Water Heater

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:

  • Storage water heaters that are often used provide a ready reservoir (storage tank) of hot water that is sufficient for everyday use. But there are other situations, such as when there is more than one usage for hot water at the same time or when there are guests in the house, where the need for hot water increases. Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type water heaters, heat water on demand rather than storing it in a storage tank. When properly sized, this sort of water heater is intended to give an appropriate supply of hot water without running out
  • However, this is not always the case. Heat pump water heaters transport heat from one location to another rather than generating heat directly for the purpose of supplying hot water, resulting in great efficiency and considerable cost savings
  • They are also environmentally friendly. Heat from the sun is used to heat water, which saves money on electricity costs. Solar water heaters are becoming increasingly popular. Tankless coil and indirect water heaters heat water by utilizing the space heating system of the home.

Selection Criteria

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

The sort of fuel you use and its availability in your location may limit the number of water heaters you may choose from. Listed below is a list of water heater alternatives categorized by fuel type or energy source:

  • 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

You should evaluate fuel costs if you have access to more than one fuel type in your location, especially if you’re planning to build an entirely new home. Even if you’re replacing a water heater, you may discover that switching to a different fuel or energy source may save you more money in the long term. For those switching from one fuel type to another, there are additional costs to consider such as the installation of circuit breakers and the running of gas lines to the water heater and venting them outside.

It is also important to consider the type of water heater you buy because it will influence your water heating expenditures.

For example, an electric heat pump water heater is generally more energy efficient than an electric traditional storage water heater in terms of heating capacity and efficiency.

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.

Fuel Type

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.

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:

  1. Determine the source of the fuel
  2. Select the type of heater you want
  3. Find out how much capacity you have
  4. Take a measurement of the space

Water Heater Fuel Sources

To begin, identify the sort of fuel source that is currently in use in your home. The following table summarizes the distinctions between electric, gas/propane, and hybrid fuel types.

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.
  • Make use of the energy in the air to heat the water
  • It is possible to utilize either outside air or air from the room where it is being kept. Water tanks are available as built-in units or as add-ons to existing tanks. Electric water heaters that are larger than conventional models
  • An early investment that is more expensive
  • It is more energy efficient, which results in cheaper utility expenses. Sizes available range from 50 to 80 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.

Storage Tank

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.

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.

Generally speaking, the bigger your need for hot water, the higher the recovery rate required. 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

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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

High-capacity water heaters are available in sizes ranging from 50 to 76 inches in height and can accommodate up to 100 gallons of water. They’re perfect for basements or garages where there isn’t a concern about height. In addition, hybrid water heaters require additional room in order to perform correctly, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installing one of these units.

Advanced Technology

This feature is available for electric water heaters and prevents the higher element from burning out if the appliance detects that there is no water nearby.

ENERGY STAR ®and High-Efficiency Ratings

It is the most trusted and government-backed emblem of energy efficiency on the market today. This grade assists consumers in saving money while also conserving the environment via the use of energy-efficient items and procedures. Consider investing in a high-efficiency water heater to save money while also benefiting the environment. The energy factor (EF) rating of a water heater is used to determine its efficiency. The greater the efficiency factor (EF), the more efficient the model. However, while some of the most energy-efficient versions may be a little more expensive initially, they are meant to be more ecologically friendly and to save you money over time.

This information provides you with a sense of how the water heater model you’re considering is projected to perform, and it also includes an estimate of the model’s yearly operating cost, if applicable.

Intuitive Technology

A new generation of water heaters adapts the temperature and other operational aspects to your personal demands and usage patterns in a simple and easy manner. Improved energy economy, enhanced durability, and smarter performance are just a few of the advantages of choosing a heater that is integrated with artificial intelligence of this type.

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. A thermopile is a device that transforms heat energy into electrical energy. 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.

Accessories

Water heater accessories are available to help you increase the safety and efficiency of your water heater by enhancing its functionality.

Expansion Tanks

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 heater stands elevate gas-powered units off the ground, reducing the risk of a fire in the case of a flammable liquid spill in the immediate vicinity of the unit. If you’re replacing an old water heater and installing a stand along with your new one, your measurements, piping, and venting will be affected as a result. It will be necessary to hire a professional to install it if you do not have extensive plumbing expertise.

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. For further information, see our gas and electric water heater ratings.

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 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:

  • A low-cost option that is commonly accessible in a range of sizes
  • Radiant heat loss accounts for 10 to 15 percent of total energy use. When used for a lengthy period of time, the hot water supply may run out. Life expectancy is about 10-15 years. Because the size of the tank is expanding to satisfy current NAECA criteria, it may not be suitable for all households. EF rating on average is 0.67
  • Costs between $200 and $400, not including installation.

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.

Solar Hot Water Heaters

Solar water heater collectors must be installed in a location where they will get direct sunlight throughout the day. It should be oriented such that it faces south and is slanted at an angle equal to the latitude for best effectiveness. Solar water heaters will function well at a lower slant or while facing southeast or southwest, albeit they will not perform as well as they might. In order to transport water between the collector and storage tank, solar hot water heaters rely on either natural circulation or a pump to do so.

Solar water heaters are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $2,000, despite the fact that they are expensive to purchase and install.

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).

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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.

They do, however, continue to emit CO2 and can be prohibitively expensive to install. 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

Using the formula below, you can determine how long it would take an energy efficient system to pay for itself by dividing the additional cost associated with the system by the amount of electricity saved each year. Answer: The number of years it would take the energy efficient system to earn back its investment in energy savings. $ in additional costs minus $ in energy savings each year equals years to repay.

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.

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. The average cost of a tankless heater at a home center is $1,000, with an additional $200 for a stainless vent system.

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 electric heat-pump water heater pros:

In warm climes, an electric hybrid heat pump offers the lowest running costs of any electric water heater on the market, making it the most cost-effective option for water heating. In addition, they may be eligible for refunds and tax breaks. To find out what’s available in your region, visit todsireusa.org.

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. It costs around $2,000 to purchase a condensing gas water heater (through internet suppliers like aspexsupply.com – home stores do not currently carry this kind).

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:

  • A condensing heater will cost you $2,000 to purchase. Newer devices will continue to be two to three times more expensive than conventional ones. It necessitates the modification of gas lines and venting systems. No “real-world” experience has been gained in terms of tank life or repair expenses.

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.

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Water Heater

January 5th, 2022 was the date of the most recent update to this article.

Summary

Your water heater is an important component of your house because it provides the hot water that you and your family require for washing clothes and dishes, bathing, and other activities. Making the proper choice for your water heater will guarantee that you not only have a consistent supply of water, but that it is also generated with the least amount of energy possible, saving you money while also helping to protect the environment.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at several types of water heaters and the fuels that they use, as well as the pros and disadvantages of each type, so that you can make an informed decision about which water heater to buy for your house or business.

Table of Contents

  • The use of energy to heat water in your home
  • Storage water heaters
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Heat pump water heaters
  • The use of solar energy — solar water heaters
  • The use of natural gas — gas water heaters
  • Selecting a Course of Action

We take for granted having a consistent and dependable supply of hot water, which we use for a number of home activities, from washing clothing and dishes to taking a hot shower. Your hot water heater may have gone out of service, or you may want to save money on your energy bills by upgrading to a new, more energy-efficient one. When it comes to selecting the best water heater for your house, there are a number of aspects to take into consideration.

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Water heater size

The capacity of a water heater is important since it determines how well it will serve your family’s water demands. All of the numerous times and methods that you utilize hot water in your house must be taken into consideration.

Type of water heater

Insufficient capacity of a water heater will render it ineffective in meeting the demands of your household. The numerous times and methods you utilize hot water in your house will need to be taken into consideration.

Fuel type

What do you prefer: electricity, natural gas, solar, or geothermal? There are a variety of various energy sources that may be used to heat the water in your home’s plumbing. Each has its own set of benefits and limitations that will make them more or less suited for your specific application depending on how you use them. If you have a water heater in your house, it may be a substantial energy user. Let’s start with a look at the numerous types of energy that may be used to heat the water in your house.

This will rely on the availability and cost of energy sources in your area, in addition to the requirements of the particular heater you’ll be installing.

Electricity

When it comes to water heating, electricity is commonly employed throughout the United States. It is adaptable and may be used with a variety of water heaters, including storage, on-demand, and heat pump models. It can also be used in active solar systems to assist with water circulation.

Natural gas

If your property is equipped with natural gas, it may be worthwhile to investigate using it to power storage and on-demand water heaters.

LP gas

Liquid petroleum gas, often known as propane, is easily accessible across the United States and is ideal for use in both traditional and tankless water heaters.

Solar

Solar energy is a viable choice in sunny and warm areas like ours, which makes it particularly appealing. If the geography and position of your property allow for the installation of a solar energy system, you may possibly save a large amount of money on your water heating energy bills.

Geothermal

It is worthwhile to explore geothermal energy as a source of energy for water heating, especially when combined with a heat pump water heater. This technology works best in conjunction with existing geothermal heat pump systems that are utilized for both heating and cooling. When choosing an energy source for your water heater, keep in mind that the cost of the fuel source should be taken into consideration. If you’re building a new house, it’s a good idea to get started on the right foot from the beginning, and it may be worthwhile to switch from your present energy source if you’ll save money in the long run.

In this section, we’ll take a look at the many alternatives available for residential water heating on an individual basis.

STORAGE WATER HEATERS

Imagine a hot water heater in your mind’s eye, and a storage water heater is most likely the picture that will come to mind. Traditional storage-tank water heaters have been around for quite some time and are still one of the most common solutions for heating water in the house. Storage water heaters provide a number of appealing features, as well as some disadvantages, which should be considered. Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Technology that is straightforward– A storage tank water heater is straightforward in its design. A heating element or burner warms the water in the tank and, with the help of a thermostat, keeps it at the proper temperature throughout the day. Models intended for electricity or gas (LP or natural gas) are easily accessible
  • Storage water heaters are also available in a variety of sizes. Inexpensive initial outlay– Storage water heaters are readily available and reasonably priced. These water heaters are a fantastic choice if you want to spend as little money as possible up front on your water heater.

Storage water heaters are not without their limitations, as you can see below. These considerations should be taken into account when choosing between different types of hot water heaters:

Cons

  • Storage water heaters must require energy to maintain the temperature of the water they are storing, which means they must consume energy throughout the day, even when they are not in use
  • Standby heat loss The cost of operating a storage water heater will be higher because of standby heat loss
  • You will also consume more energy to operate a storage water heater.

Fuel Options

This list of fuel sources can be used to heat the water in a storage water heater:

  • Natural gas, liquid propane gas (LP gas), electricity, solar and geothermal energy are all options.

Sizing a storage tank water heater

The “First Hour Rating” of a storage tank water heater is the most significant figure to consider when sizing a storage tank water heater. When the tank is fully heated at the beginning of the hour, this is the amount of gallons of hot water the heater can generate in an hour. Match this amount to the predicted peak demand of your home’s hot water consumption, and you’ll always have enough hot water on hand to meet your household’s needs. The following link will take you to a helpful chart that will aid you with this calculation:

Tankless water heaters

When you use a tankless water heater (also known as a demand water heater), you only receive hot water when you need it. You may be able to save money this way. There is no need to keep a ready supply of hot water in a tank with these heaters since they employ electric heating elements or gas burners to heat water as it passes through a pipe in the device. The capacity of your tankless water heater to handle all of your possible simultaneous hot water requirements, such as bathing and washing clothes is critical, so be sure yours is large enough.

Pros

  • Improved energy efficiency– Because you are not constantly heating water, you have the potential to save a significant amount of money on your energy bills. Installation at the point of service– Because small tankless water heaters can be put practically anywhere, they’re a good choice for adding hot water to a home addition without having to upgrade the whole water heater system in the house. Room savings– Because they do not have a large storage tank, tankless water heaters take up very little space. The latter is particularly beneficial in compact homes with limited basement (or no basement) space.

Cons

  • Inconsistent water temperatures– It is critical to appropriately design a tankless unit, otherwise you risk exceeding capacity when demand for hot water is strong. Higher initial costs–Tankless water heaters have a higher purchase price and, in many cases, need more effort to install than traditional storage water heaters.

Fuel options

Tankless water heaters can be powered by the following energy sources:

Sizing a tankless water heater

In the case of tankless heaters, the rating is based on a combination of flow rate and temperature increase. There are several additional steps to do in comparison to a storage type system. Due to this, it might be difficult to determine the exact requirements of your property in advance. Consider consulting with an experienced contractor about your requirements and soliciting their advice on what would work best in your particular case before moving further.

Heat pump water heaters

Heat pump water heaters are a variant on the traditional storage water heater that deserves to be discussed in greater detail. Heat pump water heaters do not create heat directly through the use of an electric heating element or a gas burner; instead, they suck in heat from the surrounding environment and concentrate it inside the unit to heat the water within the unit. It is also possible to use geothermal energy with heat pump water heaters by extracting heat from the earth beneath our feet and transferring it to the water heater.

If you currently have or are planning to install a geothermal heating and cooling system for your home’s heating and cooling, geothermal heat pump water heaters are a great choice to consider. Here are some crucial points to consider when purchasing a heat pump water heater.

Pros

  • Heat pump with high energy efficiency. Warm water heaters get a large portion of the energy required to heat water from the surrounding environment, and they do not utilize any fuel in the process of heating the water. This has the potential to result in significant energy savings.

Cons

  • Heat pump water heaters have greater beginning expenses than typical storage water heaters, despite the fact that you will save money in the long run. Specific temperature requirements– For a heat pump water heater to function properly, the air surrounding it cannot be too cold. Because of this, they are not a suitable choice for areas with lower temperatures.

Sizing a Heat Pump Water Heater

The method used to determine the size of a heat pump water heater is the same as that used to determine the size of a standard storage water heater. To illustrate, take a look at the “First Hour Rating,” which indicates how many gallons of hot water can be produced by a water heater in an hour. Match this amount to the predicted peak demand of your home’s hot water consumption, and you’ll always have enough hot water on hand to meet your household’s needs. The following link will take you to a helpful chart that will aid you with this calculation:

THE POWER OF THE SUN — SOLAR WATER HEATERS

In your mind’s eye, when you consider harnessing the power of the sun to meet your home’s energy requirements, you may see images of electricity-generating solar panels mounted on your roof. However, there is another option to save money on energy expenditures by utilizing sunshine, and that is by using it to heat the water in your home. Solar water heaters are a tried-and-true method of heating your water, and they may be a more cost-effective option than you realize.

Types

All solar-powered water heaters have a few components in common: solar collectors, which heat the water by absorbing sunlight, and storage tanks, which store the heated water in the same way as conventional storage water heaters do. Active and passive solar water heating systems are the two types of solar water heating systems that may be classified. The following are the fundamentals of each sort of system. Systems that are active– For the water to flow through the system of an active solar-powered water heater, it is necessary to employ electrically driven pumps and controllers.

  • Direct circulation systems– In these systems, water is pushed via solar collectors, where it is heated and then stored until needed. In the event that you reside in a location where freezes are seldom, they are a good alternative. Indirect circulation system– An indirect circulation system does not pump water, but instead employs a heat-transfer fluid to circulate the water. This fluid then passes via a heat exchanger, which heats the water in your faucet. For cooler areas, this is an excellent alternative due to the fact that heat transfer fluids do not freeze.

Passive Systems – Systems that are not actively used. Passive systems, while less expensive than active systems, may not be exactly as efficient as active systems in terms of energy efficiency. The following are two types of passive systems that are commonly seen.

  • Thermosyphon systems– These systems make use of the fundamentals of physics. Given the fact that heated water rises, water runs through a series of collecting tubes before rising to the water tank once it has been sufficiently warmed. Because the storage tank for these systems must be located above the collecting tubes, your home’s attic must be able to hold the weight of the storage tank
  • This is an essential issue for these systems. A hybrid solution to water heating is presented by integral collector-storage passive systems (ICS systems), or ICS systems. Water is routed via solar collectors, where it is warmed before being used in the system. After that, the warmed water is sent to a standard water heater to complete the task.

Pros

  • Energy efficiency that is unparalleled– The sun’s energy is completely free to utilize. Return on investment– Because the free energy will result in significant savings in water heating energy consumption, you will be able to recoup your initial investment in the system over time. In comparison to other solar solutions, the footprint of solar panels is small. It takes a significant number of power-producing solar panels to make a dent in your home’s electricity use.

Cons

  • High initial costs– A solar water heater necessitates a significant financial commitment. Depending on your energy savings, it might take many years for you to return your original investment. Climate Variables– In order to get the maximum benefits of a solar water heater, you must reside in a region that receives a significant amount of direct sunlight.

Important considerations

When installing a solar water heater, there are more factors to consider than there are when installing the other types of water heaters we’ve explored thus far. You should think about these variables when deciding whether or not a solar water heater system would be a good investment for your home.

  • Choosing your location– In order to attain optimal efficiency, you’ll need a south-facing roof with enough area to accommodate the solar collection devices. Choosing the right balance between cost and efficiency– While the energy savings of a solar system are evident, it may take some time before the investment in a solar water heater pays for itself. Prior to hiring a contractor to install a solar water heater, it’s critical that you thoroughly examine any applicable municipal codes and ordinances, as well as any applicable homeowner association rules and regulations.

Sizing a solar water heater

When sizing a solar water heater system, the process is more difficult than when sizing more traditional systems. In order to accommodate the first two members of the family, you’ll need 20 square feet of collector space, with an extra 8 square feet required for each new member of the family. When it comes to volume, a reasonable rule of thumb is 50-60 gallons of capacity for two people, with the capacity increasing to 80 gallons for three to four people. It’s advisable to contact with a contractor that has worked with solar energy systems in the past to be certain of your requirements.

As we’ve seen, there are a variety of options available when selecting a water heater, whether you’re building a new home, modifying an existing one, or replacing an old one.

As a result of your examination of the various types of systems, you will almost certainly have concerns and will want expert assistance.

Staff Enoch’s team of knowledgeable specialists is available to answer your inquiries and assist you in sharpening your focus.

And remember, Team Enoch provides free quotes, so get in touch with us right now. When it comes time to replace your water heater, we’ll be pleased to assist you in making an informed selection.

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