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.
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.
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.
9 Best Water Heaters
Every editorial product is chosen on its own merits, while we may be compensated or earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links. As of the time of writing, the ratings and pricing are correct, and all goods are in stock. 1/10 Family Handyman, courtesy of homedepot.com and lowes.com, respectively
What Is a Water Heater?
Regardless of whether the water is from a municipal or private source, it all enters your home cold. Unless you enjoy taking cold showers, you’ll want to find a technique to warm it up. It’s time to turn on the water heater. It doesn’t matter if the water is flowing through the heater or is being kept in a reservoir tank; water heaters raise the temperature of the water in your house. The heater may do this through the use of a flame or a solid heating component. Natural gas, propane, and electricity are all options for powering heaters.
- Purchase price, installation, and any additional work, such as running vent lines or upgrading your electrical service, are all included in the price. Fuel type: This is a matter of personal taste. Almost usually, the simplest and most cheap alternative is to continue using the same type of fuel that your current heater operates on. You may have different demands than others, but a 40-gallon tank typically gives enough hot water for two people, and a 50-gallon tank may accommodate four or five people in an average-sized home. Get the largest tank you can afford for a group of six or more people. Tankless vs. traditional: Which is better? Tankless water heaters heat the water as it goes through its coils, resulting in an infinite supply of hot water to be used. The disadvantages are that the cost and installation fees are greater. Energy efficiency: Although better-efficiency units have a higher initial cost, the energy savings will often more than offset the cost of the unit within a few years. Tankless systems are likewise more energy efficient, but because of their greater cost, they require a longer “break-even” period to be profitable. Tank construction: Tank heaters can become clogged with silt, which reduces their energy efficiency and shortens their service life significantly. You may manually empty them to lessen this danger, or you can search for versions that include self-cleaning components and ceramic-lined tanks to reduce this risk.
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Best Tankless Water Heater (Electric)
Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters only create heat when needed. Saving money on your energy account by not maintaining a tank of hot water at the ready will result in big savings on your bill. Units such as theRheem Performance Tankless Electric Water Heater can deliver around seven gallons of hot water per minute, meeting the demands of the entire household. However, in order to generate that much heat, you’ll need to dedicate four 40-amp double-pole breakers to this heater, which will take up a large amount of room in the electrical breaker box.
In addition to the temperature being displayed on the unit’s face via an easy-to-read LCD display, the single dial on the unit’s face permits changes in one-degree increments. In addition, Rheem’s five-year guarantee provides peace of mind. Now is the time to shop3/10 via lowes.com
Best Tankless Water Heater (Gas)
Price and performance are excellently balanced in the A.O. Smith Signature Series Tankless Water Heaters by the manufacturer. Although gas tankless units have a higher initial purchase price than electric tankless units, the reduced running expenses often offset the higher purchase price throughout the unit’s lifetime. A single tank of water from this manufacturer delivers enough hot water to run three showers at the same time. Additionally, it is Energy Star certified, indicating that it is one of the most energy-efficient machines on the market.
If you’re intending on doing the installation yourself, be sure you follow all applicable rules and obtain any necessary permits.
Best Traditional Tank Water Heater (Electric)
The WiFi-enabled leak detection and auto shut-off capabilities of the Rheem Gladiator series have garnered a great deal of attention. No one can argue that these are impressive characteristics, yet they are only a portion of the reason we appreciate theGladiator 50-Gallon Electric Water Heaters so much. The 12-year guarantee outperforms the coverage provided by most competitors, and it is accompanied by a three-year labor warranty. The auto-clean option helps to prevent sediment buildup, which can affect the life of a water heater.
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Best Traditional Tank Water Heater (Gas)
The Signature 100 Series 50-Gallon Water Heater from A.O. Smith is a solid appliance that comes at a reasonable price. There are less costly gas heaters available, but the six-year guarantee, self-cleaning dip tube, and ceramic-fused tank shield on this heater mean less possible issues down the line if something goes wrong. We also appreciate the fact that it has an ecologically friendly burner that emits lesser amounts of nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide than a standard gas water heater, which is another plus.
Best Budget-Friendly Water Heater (Electric)
Astonishingly affordable at $419, theRheem Performance 40-Gallon Electric Water Heateris a great addition to any home. Smaller families or houses with an offset usage pattern will benefit from the 40-gallon tank, which requires less energy to maintain heated between uses than a larger tank would. It simply requires a 25-amp electrical breaker, which means it shouldn’t necessitate a major electrical makeover to be put in place. If you’re looking to replace an existing electric water heater, it’s likely that you won’t find a better deal anywhere else.
Best Environmentally Friendly Water Heater (Electric)
Take into consideration the A.O. Smith Signature 900 Hybrid Water Heater, which is designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. In accordance with the manufacturer, this Energy Star-certified model saves an average home with three to four users more than $300 a year in energy bills. As part of its hybrid design, it includes a heat pump, which is similar to the one you may already have installed in your house for heating and cooling, to transport heat from the surrounding air into the water tank.
It is covered by a 10-year limited warranty and may be eligible for further rebates or tax credits depending on your situation. Visit Lehmans.com to Shop Now8/10
Best Off-Grid Water Heater
Yes, some households choose to live off-grid by installing a solar array. However, if you want to keep things as simple as possible, a Wood-Fired Water Heater is a good option. This Amish-built water heater is constructed of 3/16-inch welded steel, has a capacity of 15 gallons, and is efficient enough to keep heating new water as it circulates through the tank during operation. This indicates it has the capability of supplying water for back-to-back showers. We appreciate the fact that it is not depending on natural gas or power.
There has been no pressure testing.
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Best Water Heater for a Big Family (Gas)
If you have six or more people living in your home, you will want a large amount of hot water for bathing and laundry. If running out of water is your primary issue, you’re better off going tankless to provide “endless” hot water, or purchasing a heater with the largest tank possible. The tank may possibly be the most cost-effective of the three choices considered. This is due to the fact that big families constantly drain a water heater tank, resulting in the heater not expending energy to maintain the temperature of an empty tank.
You should select the Rheem Performance 75-Gallon Gas Water Heater if you believe that a huge tank is the best option for you.
Now is the time to shop at homedepot.com.
Best Water Heater for a Small Household (Electric)
A tankless water heater is frequently the best option for small families with only one or two people living in them. The Rheem Performance Self-Modulating Water Heater delivers enough hot water for two people to take showers at the same time without running out of hot water. Many households will only use it once or twice a day, after which it will remain idle, saving you money every time it does not need to heat up a reservoir tank of water, as is the case for many businesses. Two 40-amp circuit breakers are required.
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Best Water Heaters Of February 2022
Despite the fact that both natural gas and electric water heaters have their own set of pros and disadvantages, any comparison is complicated by an array of other considerations. Because electric water heaters are far more energy efficient and do not directly rely on fossil fuels to function, they are the most environmentally friendly alternative if environmental sustainability is important to you. The cost of operating an electric water heater can be significantly greater than the cost of operating a natural gas water heater.
Electric water heaters, particularly those that are Energy Star certified, can qualify for federal and even state tax credits, which can result in significant savings.
These discounts may not appear to be significant at first glance, but do a thorough calculation before making a purchase—you may be pleasantly surprised!
Tank vs. Tankless
Tankless water heaters are expensive and time-consuming to install and set up, but the energy savings they provide in the long run might be well worth the expenditure in the long run. Tankless water heaters provide an unending supply of hot water since they do not require a tank, which might accumulate rust or sediment build-up or pool in the tank. Check out our Best Gas Tankless Water Heaters of 2022 if you want to learn more about tankless hot water heaters. Tank-style water heaters, on the other hand, are simple and affordable to install, and they have the advantage of delivering hot water considerably more fast than tankless water heaters can.
Tank Capacity and First Hour Rating
The greatest hot water heater for your home will also depend on the tank capacity that is appropriate for your family’s requirements. Depending on the amount of people living in your home, this is a simple calculation to make:
- One to two persons require 20 to 35 gallons of water
- Two to four people require 35 to 50 gallons of water. Three to five persons use 50 to 60 gallons of water. Five or more persons — 60 gallons or more (add 10 gallons for each additional person)
A hot water heater’s first hour rating (FHR) is also important to examine. This rating tells you how much hot water the tank can generate in an hour when it is fully heated. The FHR should be able to provide enough hot water to meet or surpass the amount of gallons required for any and all simultaneous activities that your household may engage in. A few estimations of hot water use will assist you in determining the most appropriate FHR for your home:
- Bathing or bathing consumes 20 gallons
- Washing dishes (by hand) consumes six gallons
- Running the dishwasher consumes 14 gallons
- Using the washing machine consumes 30 gallons
Ease of Use
One last consideration to consider when purchasing a new hot water heater for your house is the convenience with which your new appliance will be operated. Many new electric hot water heaters are equipped with digital displays, which allow you to monitor and regulate your hot water heater more easily and effectively. Others may come with an app and be controlled over a Wi-Fi connection. Lastly, some of them are smart home equipped and can connect with other smart gadgets in your house, such as the Amazon Echo (yes, you can talk to your water heaters now).
9 Types of Water Heaters for Every Family Size & Budget
Updated:| Categories:Appliances If you’re the sort that enjoys taking a hot shower after a long, exhausting day, it’s time to learn more about the many types of water heaters, which are likely the most strenuous appliance in your home to begin with. However, you may be excused for not knowing anything about heaters; after all, you’ll probably only buy one or two of them in your whole life, if that. How do you handle the situation if your water heater breaks down after all those years of dependable service and you need to replace it?
Knowing this will assist you in selecting one that is both cost-effective and energy-efficient, the latter of which is an incredibly crucial necessity if you want to keep your power costs as low as possible.
9 Types of Water Heaters
You may be scratching your head in bewilderment about the many types of water heaters available. We’ll walk you through the solar, electric, on-demand, storage-tank, natural gas, conventional, and tankless options available.
Tankless Water Heater
In contrast to traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters do not require a tank in which to store the hot water. As opposed to this, there are coils that get extremely hot when loaded with water, providing you with fast results. Tankless water heaters are among the most efficient on the market, heating significant volumes of water in a short period of time. With these components in place, having an infinite supply of hot water on demand becomes a reality. No more waking up to a chilly shower on a cold day, regardless of the sort of showers you have in your home.
A lesser capacity than necessary will result in lukewarm or cold water since you are exerting a greater strain on your water heater than it is capable of withstanding.
Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater
Conventional or classic storage-tank water heaters were the first sorts of water heaters to enter the market, and they are the most prevalent types of heaters on the market today, and they are most likely the type of heater you are now using at home. Water heaters with tanks, as the name implies, are equipped with a storage tank with a certain capacity, in which the water is kept while it is being heated. As a result, the amount of hot water accessible at any one time is directly proportional to the size of the heater’s tank, making the selection of the appropriate size critical.
Traditional heaters have two valves: one for controlling the temperature and another for controlling the pressure.
If you’ve used up all of your heated water and need more, you’ll have to wait for another round of heating to take place (which might take up to an hour with 50-gallon heaters) before the water is made available.
As a result, there is only a limited amount of water accessible at any one time.
Heat Pump Water Heater
These heaters, which are also known as hybrid electric water heaters, may save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bill since their technique of heating does not entail direct heat generation—as a result, they consume less electricity! Instead, these heaters take heat from the air or the ground and transmit it to the water that is being heated by the heaters themselves. As a result, the electricity is only activated when heat is transported from the source (in this example, the ground or the air) to the water tank.
In terms of numbers, this implies that when compared to traditional water heaters, a heat pump water heater uses 60 percent less energy.
Furthermore, because it relies on external sources of heat for energy, the heat pump water heater may not be the best solution for cold climates, such as Iceland or your basement.
It may take many years before the savings on your electricity bill begin to repay the cost of your new hot water heater, given how expensive these types of water heater are to begin with.
Condensing Water Heater
Condensing water heaters, also known as condensing boilers, are another type of energy-efficient water heater that runs on gas, catching and using the surplus gasses to heat the water. They collect the heat from the hot exhaust gas that is released via the flue, store it, and then use the heat from the gas to pre-heat the water in the boiler, which is a waste product of the boiler. Condensing water heaters, like conventional water heaters, are equipped with storage tanks. The flue gas gathered by these heaters is blasted via a coil, which is located at the heater’s base, before being released (the placement also works to heat incoming water).
It is quite likely that a condensing water heater will prove to be extremely energy efficient if your home is powered by natural gas.
Aside from the fact that they are only available in natural gas and that they are not available in tiny quantities, these water heater systems have everything going for them.
Solar-Powered Water Heater
Solar-powered heaters, which rely on the sun for their electricity, are one of our favorite options because of how environmentally friendly and energy efficient they are. When it comes to meeting your hot water demands, there’s nothing quite like a solar-powered water heater if you’re one of those people who recognizes that alternative energy is the way of the future and has either installed or plans to install solar panels on your home. Eventually, the heat absorbed by the solar panel cells is transported through the heat-conductive material in the closed-loop system and into the tank, where it is used to heat the water.
These hot water heater solutions can save people who use them a lot of money on their power costs.
However, the decrease in carbon impact over the course of the remainder of the year is well worth the effort.
They are energy efficient (80 percent of the sunlight is converted into energy), cost efficient, provide unlimited hot water on sunny days, and are environmentally friendly (because of this, governments in some countries even provide financial incentives, tax credits, and utility rebates to people who use them).
Although these sorts of water heaters are quite inexpensive in certain parts of the world, they are less effective on wet days and can be prohibitively expensive in others. Additionally, the upkeep of the numerous components might be a bit of a headache.
Combined SpaceWater Heating System
Space and water heating systems that include both are available with or without hydronic boilers. For the most part, they are a fantastic substitute for forced-air furnaces because they employ a heat-transfer system that is designed for hydronic air handling with big coils for heat transfer and, consequently, space heating. These heaters are ideal for homes with minimal heating requirements because they provide increased insulation, improved space efficiency, and less air leakage. It is sufficient to use a single unit, which saves both energy and space.
You’re also save a significant amount of money and energy.
Due to the fact that these water heater systems are relatively new, you may have difficulty locating an electrician who can properly install them.
With Hydronic Boilers
These heaters, which are also referred to as segregated heating systems or combi-boilers, are equipped with hydronic boilers, with heat transmission occurring through a heat exchanger. These are available with or without tanks. The flow control valve guarantees that the temperature of the water remains consistent, regardless of the temperature of the water entering the system. As a result, you have a sufficient supply of hot water at a consistent temperature. The excellent thing about these heaters is that, with proper maintenance, they may last between 10 and 15 years.
The small footprint is also a tremendous space saving, as water is supplied straight from the mains, eliminating the need for a water storage tank.
As an added bonus, you’ll save over 90% on your monthly utility payment!
Because there is no tank, the time it takes to heat up is considerably longer; as a result, it is not a good solution for large homes.
Point of Use Water Heater
These are tiny heaters that are positioned near the water supply fixtures to keep the water warm. They can be installed with or without tanks, and they can be used to provide water away from the central heating system. In addition, these sorts of water heaters are excellent as back-ups when the primary heater is powered by gas or electricity rather than solar energy.
Using these heaters, you may conserve energy by lowering the temperature setting on a central tank water heater. They are particularly popular as companions for hot tubs, guest restrooms, and other fixtures that utilize less than 20 gallons of hot water each day.
Smart Water Heater
It is possible to have a smart water heater that is a thermostat or a tankless system that works in conjunction with your existing heater. Additionally, these systems allow you to connect to Wi-Fi, save energy by monitoring and changing temperature, prevent water damage through leak detection, and destroy germs within the water heater by cycling water temps. These forms of hot water heaters, on the other hand, are pricey and need professional installation.
Which Types of Water Heaters are Best for You?
There is a water heater out there to meet your demands, whether you’re searching for an energy-efficient heater, one that provides you with an uninterrupted flow of hot water, or one that is reasonably priced. Knowing the different types of water heaters can assist you in selecting the most appropriate one for your needs—thanks to this primer, you’ll never be confused between a condensed heater and a combi heater again!
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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
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.
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
30 gallons for a family of one to two people 40 gallons for a family of two to three people 50 gallons for a family of three to four people 80 gallons for a family of five or more people
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.
Depending on the model, tall water heaters may be anywhere between 50 and 76 inches tall and store up to 100 gallons of water. When it comes to basements or garages, they’re perfect because height isn’t a consideration. In addition, hybrid water heaters require additional room in order to perform effectively, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installing one of these appliances.
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.
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.
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 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.
Tankless hot water heaters vs Tank storage water heaters.
Water heaters may be a pricey purchase for homeowners, especially if you plan on staying in your house for more than a decade. As a result, when it comes time to furnish your new home or replace your old water heater, it is critical to evaluate the cost, efficiency, and durability of your new water heater. The following comparison of storage water heaters vs tankless water heaters is intended to assist homeowners and contractors in deciding on the kind of water heater that will work best for them.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, utilize high-powered burners to rapidly heat water as it passes through a heat exchanger, allowing it to be delivered straight to your taps or shower without the need to store it in a storage tank beforehand. Water heaters that do not require a tank are often fueled by electricity or gas. In studies done by Consumer Reports, it was shown that these sorts of water heaters were on average 22 percent more energy efficient than gas-fired storage-tank versions.
How are “Traditional” Tank Storage Water Heaters Different?
Storage tank water heaters are prevalent in most households, and they provide plenty hot water. Their main component is an insulated tank, which can normally contain 30-50 gallons of water and is used to heat and store the water until it is required. In order to bring hot water to its destination, such as the kitchen, the bathroom, or other sinks, a pipe emerges from the top. Storage-tank water heaters are often powered by either natural gas or electricity, depending on the model. Natural gas storage-tank water heaters consume about half the energy of electric storage-tank water heaters and run at a fraction of the cost.
They also have a temperature and pressure release valve, which opens when either the temperature or the pressure exceeds the predetermined values.
Tankless Water Heater Energy Efficiency
On-demand (tankless) water heaters provide between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters for homeowners who use less than 41 gallons or less of hot water per day. Storage tank water heaters provide between 24 and 34 percent greater energy efficiency. It is possible to gain an extra 8 to 14 percent in energy efficiency if you consume large amounts of hot water on a daily basis (about 86 gallons). When comparing tankless water heaters and traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless varieties have a longer useful life than conventional models, which translates to a 20+-year useful life as opposed to storage tank types, which have a useful life of 10 to 15 years before self-destructing and flooding your basement or home, depending on where they are located in your home.
In order to “hit a home run,” it is recommended that a tankless water heater be installed at each hot water outlet. Why? On-demand water heaters installed at all hot water outlets in your home can result in energy savings of 27 to 50 percent, depending on your usage pattern.
ProsCons of Tankless Water Heaters
On-demand (tankless) water heaters provide between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters for homeowners that consume less than 41 gallons or less of hot water per day on average. Energy efficiency may increase by 8 to 14 percent if you use large amounts of hot water each day (about 86 gallons). The cost of a tankless water heater is slightly higher than the cost of traditional storage tank water heaters, but tankless varieties last significantly longer than conventional water heater models, translating to a 20+-year useful life as opposed to storage tank types, which last only 10 to 15 years before self-destructing and flooding your basement or home, depending on where they are installed.
Install a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet if you want to “hit the ball out of the park.” Why?
Tankless Water Heater Advantages:
- Over time, it saves you money. According to Energy.gov, “demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily.” Demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters (especially if they are gas-fueled) can save households more than $100 per year if they are kept in operation for a long time. According to the United States Department of Energy, electric tankless water heaters continue to save homeowners around $44 per year. Water heaters with a longer useful life than storage tank water heaters Tankless water heaters generally have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, which is double the expected usable life of a storage tank water heater, according to the manufacturer. Keep in mind that places with “hard water” may see a reduction in the usable life of both types of water heaters. It does not take up the same amount of room as a storage tank water heater. As a result of their size, on-demand water heaters may be put in “close quarters.” They can also be put on the outside of your home if you have a very limited amount of available space. You will have access to hot water anytime you require it. When you use a tankless water heater, you won’t even have to wait 15 to 25 seconds for your water to get hot because they produce two to three gallons of hot water each minute. As a result of the increased amount of water they must heat, many storage tank water heaters take longer to heat water than tankless water heaters
- However, this is not always the case.
Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters:
- Water heaters with storage tanks have a higher initial purchase cost. It can be very expensive to install a tankless water heater, especially if you’re replacing an existing storage tank water heater with a tankless water heater. Because it is more difficult to relocate existing pipe when you opt to retrofit a tankless water heater instead of a storage tank water heater, your plumber-installer will require more time, which will increase the installation cost, when replacing a storage tank water heater. They have the potential to be “output challenged.” When you are taking showers and doing laundry at the same time, your tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with the demand for hot water placed on it. With many showers in your home, it is common for one of the shower-takers to have a “chilly” experience
- However, this is not always the case.
ProsCons of Storage Tank Water Heaters (Tank) Water Heater Advantages:
- Water heaters with storage tanks have a higher initial purchase price. If you’re replacing a storage tank water heater with a tankless-type water heater, tankless water heater installation might be expensive. It will take your plumber-installer more time and money to replace a storage tank water heater than it will to retrofit a tankless water heater
- This is due to the difficulty of transferring existing plumbing
- And this will increase the installed cost of the tankless water heater. Their production might be “challenging.” By using your tankless water heater to take showers and wash laundry at the same time, you may prevent your tankless water heater from failing to keep up with the demand for hot water. It is common for one of the shower-takers to have a “chilly” feeling when there are numerous showers in use in a household.
Drawbacks of Storage (Tank) Water Heaters:
- Utility bills that are a little higher
- Because storage tank water heaters heat and then reheat water to a pre-set temperature, regardless of how much hot water you use, they raise your utility rates a little. If these water heaters are operating in a chilly environment (location), they will have to work harder during the winter months, increasing your gas or electric expenditures even more during the cold winter months. Storage tank water heaters require more room than on-demand water heaters due to their larger size
- If you live in a small place, you may have difficulty finding adequate space to accommodate storage tank water heaters. Additionally, unlike tankless water heaters, they cannot be installed outside the home. You don’t want to be the last member of your family to get out of the shower
- If you have a standard household water heater, you may wish to upgrade to a bigger one if you take many showers on a regular basis. While this solution may alleviate the hot water deficit, your energy expenditures may rise in tandem with the reduction in hot water supply. Storage tank water heaters are only capable of supporting three showers in a succession on average. It’s not pleasant to be the fourth shower-taker unless you favor frigid showers rather than hot showers
- Tank-style water heaters must be changed more frequently than tankless water heaters. Given that storage tank water heaters have a lower functional life (approximately a quarter of the life of on-demand water heaters), often 10 to 15 years, you may be required to purchase and install them nearly twice as frequently as tankless water heaters, diminishing your purchasing savings.
A tankless water heater can save you more money over the course of its lifetime if your bank account can handle the greater initial expense of such a water heater. However, if you have a fixed income and a low income, a storage tank water heater may be a better option for you. Talk to the plumber about the two types of water heaters available so that you can assess your alternatives. Having learned about the”good, bad, and ugly”of both major water heater alternatives, you may want to consult with a reputable company, such asPetro Home Services(1-888-735-5651), to assist you determine the kind, size, and brands of water heater you should consider purchasing or renting.
What’s the point of waiting?
- The hot water heater is not functioning properly. When is it time to replace your water heater? Tank and tankless water heaters are both available.
Best Water Heater Reviews 2021
It is possible to purchase a variety of various water heaters on the market. It’s not simple to figure out how to choose the greatest water heater for your needs. It is necessary to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type and technology. In addition, when you factor in the availability of local and national subsidies for energy savings, making the choice to replace a water heater with a newer or alternative technology becomes a little more complicated than just picking between electric and gas.
However, as we’ll demonstrate, this isn’t always the greatest option when it comes to water heaters.
Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each technology will assist you in making the best selection. We also make particular product and line recommendations based on our expertise and experience with the items, their technology, their manufacturers, their reputations, and their warranties.
Best Water Heaters by Type
Depending on the sort of water heating system in question, we can provide some recommendations. The greatest water heater should be able to satisfy your requirements while also meeting the demands of your home. For the sake of this paper, we will limit ourselves to water heaters intended for use in domestic settings. There are electric and gas variants available in both tank and tankless configurations. Hybrid electric and heat pump designs are also included in this category. Following our suggestions, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of water heater to assist you in determining which type of water heater is the best fit for your home’s installation or replacement.
Best Electric Water Heater (Tank Style)
Depending on the sort of water heating system you have, we can provide some recommendations to you. If you want the greatest water heater, it should fulfill your demands as well as the needs of your house and be energy efficient. For the sake of this paper, we will limit ourselves to water heaters designed for household usage. Electric and gas types are available in both tank and tankless configurations. Hybrid electric and heat pump models are also included in the category. Following our recommendations, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each type of water heater to assist you in determining which type of water heater is the best fit for your home’s needs.
Best Gas Water Heater (Tank Style)
The A. O. Smith Signature 50-gallon tall model, in our opinion, is the greatest gas water heater available. It performs exceptionally well in houses with five or more people and produces 50,000 BTUs. It has a remarkable first-hour hot water delivery capacity of 89 gallons and is equipped with an electronic gas valve that allows for exact temperature adjustment. Aside from that, the control operates without the requirement for an external power source. A modest LED status indicator for diagnostics reporting is included with the AO Smith Signature 50-gallon water heater, which is not a smart water heater by any means.
The ceramic fused tank shield, which inhibits corrosion, as well as the self-cleaning dip tube, which decreases silt build-up, are two features that we really enjoy.
There are also a variety of sizes available in both short and tall combinations.
Best Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
The hybrid electric heat pump style of water heaters might be considered the “Cadillac” of water heaters. Designed to be both clever and efficient, the A. O. Smith Signature Premier Electric Water Heater with Hybrid Heat Pump is a great addition to any home. Because of the hybrid heat pump architecture, it is four times more efficient than even the most efficient electric water heater. It saves enough money that, according to the calculations, it should be able to pay for itself in as little as 2-3 years.
This water heater does not include built-in WiFi.
That’s something we appreciate in a water heater since it means there’s less to break and worry about. For your piece of mind, this water heater is backed by a 10-year limited manufacturer’s guarantee.
Best Gas Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters manufactured by Rinnai have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. When it comes to tankless water heaters, we prefer indoor units wherever feasible, and I aim to promote gas versions with at least 7.5 GPM. That will more than plenty for a family of 4-5, even if you have laundry in the washing and a dishwasher or shower going at the same time. That this system is so simple, paired with an outstanding 10-year manufacturing guarantee on the heat exchanger, is something we really like about it.
Along with the 120-month heat exchanger guarantee, you will receive 12 months of labor coverage and 60 months of parts coverage.
Best Electric Tankless Water Heater
For as long as I can remember, Rinnai has been the preferred brand of tankless water heaters. We prefer indoor tankless units wherever practical, and I aim to promote gas ones with a flow rate of at least 7.5 GPM. That will be than plenty for a family of 4-5, even if you have laundry in the washing and a dishwasher or shower going at the same time! Its simplicity, along with a great 10-year manufacturing guarantee on the heat exchanger, is something we appreciate about this system. Setting timers and schedules throughout the day, as well as enabling vacation mode when you are gone, is made possible by using the Control-R 2.0 mobile application.
However, if you want an outdoor unit, we propose the Rinnai V75EN, which has the same flow rate as the Rinnai V75 but has an outdoor-rated venting system.
Repairing and Replacing Water Heaters – Incentives
If your hot water heater fails, you would normally just replace it with a gas or electric one that is the same size and kind (usually conventional). However, because of the ongoing government incentives, homeowners who replace their hot water heaters may be eligible for Energy Star rebates. The refund may only be applied on an existing house that serves as your primary residence. It operates in the following ways:
- If you purchase a qualified gas, oil, or propane water heater, you will be eligible for a tax credit of $300. This tankless system must have an Energy Factor of at least 0.82 and a thermal efficiency of at least 90% in order to function properly. Currently, all tankless water heaters that comply with Energy Star requirements qualify. If you purchase a qualified electric heat pump water heater, you will be eligible for a tax credit of $300. Most ENERGY STAR-certified water heaters fulfill the standards for this tax credit, and the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) must be equal to or greater than 2.2.
Pros and Cons of Electric Tank Water Heaters
Using a huge insulated tank to hold the water, tank water heaters heat the water to provide hot water. These devices have an usual capacity of 40-50 gallons. You may also discover versions that are meant for larger houses and can heat up to 80 gallons of water or even more every hour of operation. Commercial units have capacities of up to 120 gallons or more. Electric water heaters utilize one or more heating elements to heat the water in the tank, and they are equipped with a thermostat to regulate the temperature of the water.
We propose that even the greatest electric water heaters be used in conjunction with an external timer in order to save money. This is not true for versions equipped with electronic controls, which allow programming of the thermostat either on the device itself or through an app on a smartphone.
- Advantages:Easy to replace, economical when compared to alternatives, and suitable for both warm and cold weather conditions. Cons: Inefficient as compared to tankless (particularly when using gas), prone to intermittent failure, and with a limited supply of hot water.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
An electric heating element (heat exchanger) heats the water as it passes through the system, allowing it to be used immediately. Because there is no standing water in a tank, the heat is not lost over time (standby loss) as the hot water sits waiting to be utilized, as is the case with a tank-based system. Because the water is only heated when it is needed (the system is “flow regulated,” meaning that the heating only occurs when the hot water has been triggered and is being drawn through the system), these systems are relatively new and promise to be more energy-efficient than older models.
In addition, most residences are not constructed with a centralized location for the water supply in mind.
- Pros: It is energy efficient, offers rebates, and never runs out of hot water. It is expensive, requiring specific installation and might take longer to heat water in the most remote areas of a home.
Should You Buy a Heat Pump Water Heater
Water heating systems that extract heat from the surrounding air to heat water in a tank are a less well-known form of water heating system. The odd manner it operates means it is only ideal for use in warmer areas and must be installed in a bigger place such as a utility room, garage, shop, or basement due to the nature of its operation. They may be up to three times more efficient than an electric water heater, and they can also chill and dehumidify the air in the room, making them particularly attractive in hotter areas where humidity is a problem.
In addition to heating water more rapidly and in larger volume than ordinary electric water heaters, these hybrid versions are also more compact in size.
- Pros: It is energy efficient, it cools the room during hot weather, it heats up quickly, and it produces more volume for the same size tank. Cons: It is expensive, it is not ideal for colder areas, it takes more room, and it has a restricted hot water supply.
Considering a Solar Water Heater?
Do you want to be as energy efficient as possible to the extreme? Why not use the sun to heat your water instead of a boiler? Solar water heaters can be used to heat the water in a home or to just heat water for a swimming pool. They can operate in a number of different ways. In the event of cloudy days or other unforeseen circumstances, these systems rely on a backup system (either tankless or conventional) to manage hot water production when the solar system is unable to provide sufficient heat.
When using a passive system, the tank is actually stored on the roof or the ground (as part of a “batch collector”), where it is directly heated by the sun.
- Pros: Makes you feel good about yourself for being environmentally conscious and having a low operating cost
- Costly, not as ideal for colder locations, involves extensive installation, and has a restricted supply of hot water.
Check for Additional Rebates
Features that make you feel good about yourself include being environmentally conscious and having a low operating cost. Costly, not as ideal for colder locations, involves difficult installation, and has a limited supply of hot water;
- A total of $450 is obtained by subtracting $1,200 (the cost of the tankless water heater) from $300 (the tax credit) and $450 (the local rebate).
Because of the low cost, it’s nearly absurd to not replace and improve your hot water heater with one that is more energy efficient. Your final selection will be based on your own preferences as well as the requirements of your house and water heating requirements. Before making a final decision, carefully analyze all of your alternatives and all of the possible tax savings that are available to you.