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 begin, identify the sort of fuel source that is currently in use in your house or office. This chart illustrates the differences in fuel types between electric, gas/propane, and hybrid fuels.
- 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
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.
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.
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
Hot water heater timers are linked into the unit’s electrical supply and may be programmed to only draw power while the water heater is in use. By only using the water heater when it is absolutely necessary, you may reduce energy consumption and save money.
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.
The Complete Hot Water Heater Buying Guide
It is estimated that the average water heater will last between 8 and 12 years and will contribute for around 15 to 20% of your monthly electricity expenditure. For this reason, whether your water heater is getting on in age, or if you’re expanding or renovating a bathroom, keep these three fundamental guidelines in mind while looking for a typical storage water heater: Don’t hurry things; size does important. Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important. To be sure, an ice-cold shower or a leaky heater makes it even more vital to get a new heater installed as soon as possible.
Hot Water Heater Sizes
Even if you were satisfied with the previous tank, don’t immediately assume it had the necessary heating capacity for the new installation. To figure out how much hot water your home consumes during the busiest hour of the day, you must first add up how much hot water your household uses on a daily basis. “Size a water heater to meet your needs 363 days a year, not just on the one or two days when you have 25 relatives coming,” advises Richard Trethewey, a plumbing and heating specialist for This Old House.
If you have a high demand for hot water, the FHR will inform you how many gallons the heater can generate in an hour. (This is not the same as the amount of liquid that a tank can store.)
When comparing models, the energy factor (EF) should be taken into consideration. This value represents the proportion of energy converted into hot water by that specific model. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit and the lower the operating costs will be. (An EF of 1 would suggest that a heater converts 100 percent of the energy it consumes into hot water – a practical impossibility, unfortunately.) While a high efficiency factor (EF) is desirable, you must also consider the cost of the energy that the heater consumes in order to obtain an accurate picture of how much it costs to operate.
- Water heaters with high efficiency factors (EFs) are often more expensive to purchase, but don’t discount the possible long-term savings in fuel expenses.
- In this case, the number of years it will take for the energy savings to make up for the higher purchase price is the answer.
- It goes without saying that if energy prices rise over that period, the payback period will be shorter.
- Fill out the online spreadsheets given by GAMA with the EF of each model and your real energy cost to get a more accurate prediction of performance and return on investment.
Comparing Types of Hot Water Heaters
It will become clear when comparing the different types of heaters, however, that natural gas and oil-fired units often have greater FHRs in relation to their tank size than electric heaters. (Flames heat water far more quickly than heating devices do, for example.) When completing your worksheet, if you get a high FHR (for example, 100 gallons or more), you may need to build a second water heater.
Electric water heaters are small, lightweight, and silent, and they have the best efficiency of any storage water heater available. However, because the cost of electricity is so high in most regions, fuel-fired heaters are less expensive to operate than electricity-powered heaters.” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAAACAkQBADs” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAA American Water Heater Company illustration data-cid=”site/dynamic size image-1646126063 5055 256094″ data-cdata=” “>Illustration provided by American Water Heater Company.
Electric water heaters are small, lightweight, and silent, and they have the best efficiency of any storage water heater available. However, because the cost of energy is so high in most regions, fuel-fired heaters are less expensive to operate than electricity-powered heaters.
Choosing a gas-fired water heater with a sealed combustion chamber and direct or power venting is a good choice for securely sealed dwellings. These characteristics ensure that all exhaust gases are expelled from the building.” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAAACAkQBADs” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAA data-cid=”site/dynamic size image-1646126063 7870 256095 American Water Heater Company created this illustration.
” data-cdata=” “> In securely sealed dwellings, look for gas-fired water heaters with sealed combustion chambers and direct or power venting, rather than electric water heaters.
Oil-fired water heaters heat water more quickly than electric or gas-fired systems. They are often heavier than other types of heaters because of the thick liner in the combustion chamber that protects the tank from the strong heat generated by the burner.” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAAACAkQBADs” data-chorus-optimize-field=”main image” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAUEBAAAACwAAAAAAQABAA Bock Water Heaters Inc.
created this illustration.
created this illustration.
They are often heavier than other types of heaters because of the thick coating in the combustion chamber that protects the tank from the strong heat generated by the burner.
Performance Features of a Hot Water Tank
After selecting the size and efficiency rating of a heater, take into consideration the following other vital elements that will extend the heater’s lifetime and lower running expenses.
The usual tank is made of steel with a “glass” coating on the inside (actually porcelain enamel). This water heater is equipped with magnesium or aluminum rods that are hung in the tank to combat internal corrosion, which is the leading cause of water heater failure. Stainless steel tanks do not rust (and so do not require anodes), but they are more expensive than glass-lined tanks since they do not rust. In places where the water is particularly corrosive (acidic) or reactive, the extra expense of these filters may be justified (full of minerals that encrust the tank walls, slowing heat transfer).
Insulation around a gas or oil-fired tank should be R-16 or higher, and R-22 or higher for electric tanks, regardless of whether the insulation is foam or fiberglass. Insulation helps to decrease standby losses, which are heat losses that occur while the device is not in use. Wrapping your tank with a fiberglass blanket will not make up for the lack of insulation that has been included into the tank.
“Thermosyphoning,” or the tendency for hot water to climb up the supply pipe, is prevented by these built-in devices, which are either valves or flexible connections bent into an inverted U.
If your water heater does not come with a built-in heat trap, one can be installed during the installation process (or retrofitted to existing heaters).
Making Your Selection
Before making a purchase, consider the manufacturer’s warranty and reputation as well as the price. For this information, there is no one reliable source to consult; nevertheless, speaking with a few trustworthy plumbers and plumbing supply businesses should assist you in narrowing your options. You may also be eligible for rebates or incentives issued by local utilities and municipalities in order to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles. (See state-by-state lists for further information.) Finally, be certain that the heater you choose will fit into the allotted area while still allowing for adequate space for service.
Alternatively, you may be able to purchase straight from a local home improvement store.
A water heater may live for up to 30 years, although the majority of them fail after 10 years, primarily due to negligence. Prevent your heater from dying prematurely by performing the following activities on a yearly basis, or by hiring a plumber or HVAC specialist to handle them for you.
- Drain the tank until the water is completely clean of debris. Remove as much sediment as possible from the tank at least twice a year. Corrosion of the pressure-relief valve should be checked. If it is rusted, have a plumber repair it as soon as possible. On a gas or oil-fired device, inspect the combustion chamber and flue vent for rust, corrosion, and blockages, and replace if necessary. Remove and inspect the heating elements of an electric heater, but turn off the electricity and drain the tank first. Anode rod should be removed and inspected (or rods). If the core wire of the rod is exposed for more than 6 inches or rods, it should be replaced. Maintain a water temperature between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. (Confirm using a thermometer placed under the faucet.) Corrosion is accelerated by higher temperatures.
Where to Find It
American Water Heater Company is a manufacturer of electric water heaters. www.americanwaterheater.com Johnson City, TN (800) 999-9515 www.americanwaterheater.com American Water Heater Company manufactures gas-fired water heaters. Bock Water Heaters Madison, WI 800-794-2491 www.bockwaterheaters.com Oil-fired: Bock Water Heaters Madison, WI 800-794-2491 The following people deserve our gratitude: Dave Sutula, Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Arlington, VA 703-525-7060
How to Buy the Best Water Heater for Your Home
Choosing the right water heater for your needs may be more difficult than it appears at first glance to be. The function of a water heater is straightforward, but there are a variety of considerations that must be taken into consideration. Because this is something you buy approximately once per decade and the number of possibilities available is always rising, you should find this summary to be worthwhile. Purchasing a water heater does not have to be a difficult task.
Do I Need to Replace a Water Heater?
If you’re asking that question, the likelihood is that the answer is yes. This is especially true if you don’t know how old the water heater in your home is at the moment. It takes an average of 8 to 12 years for a standard tank water heater, which is the most prevalent model in the United States, to reach its end of service life. The effectiveness of a water heater diminishes as it ages, so replacing an older one might be a good investment. Water heaters degrade over time as a result of normal use, but you can reduce the aging process.
- Sediment building occurs when minerals in water separate and settle to the bottom of the tank as a result of the heat.
- Sediment buildup can also cause the bottom heating elements in electric water heaters to fail, and it can produce hot spots in gas water heaters to stress the tank.
- The presence of rumbling or bursting sounds emanating from the tank indicates a large accumulation of silt.
- A corrosion-damaged anode rod — When different types of metals are linked in water, as is the case in water heater tanks, galvanic corrosion occurs, causing the more sensitive metals to corrode first.
- It’s possible that an anode rod may endure for four or five years, but it’s important to check for corrosion on a yearly basis.
- It is necessary to replace the rod if it has been “sacrificed” in a significant amount of coverage.
- The presence of rust in your hot water is a good indicator that the anode rod is not operating properly and that the tank has begun to corrode.
Even though higher water pressures are not unheard of, it is generally accepted that as a general rule of thumb, the higher the water pressure, the greater the strain on a home’s complete plumbing system.
Tanks are required to resist additional pressure when there is no expansion tank or when the temperature and pressure relief valves are broken or malfunctioning.
If you notice water pouring from the overflow pipe on a regular basis, it is possible that your water pressure is too high.
If a water heater is intended for a home with two people, it will be overworked if the residence has three or more people.
Corrosive fumes– Although not as prevalent as it should be, and sometimes disregarded, propane and natural gas water heaters require a sufficient amount of air to maintain combustion.
Tankless water heaters are not immune to sediment building; the same water conditions that cause sediment buildup in tank-style water heaters may cause mineral scale to accumulate in tankless water heaters.
This can also jam the outbound hot water pipe, resulting in decreased water pressure.
There are numerous apparent symptoms of difficulty with a water heater that you should check for, including the most obvious one – a lack of hot water when you need it.
Water heater servicing is especially crucial for older types, but all water heaters operate at their peak performance when they are kept in good condition. More on that in a moment, but first, let’s speak about what to look for when selecting the greatest water heater for your specific requirements.
It Starts with the Fuel: Natural Gas or Electric
Despite the fact that there are numerous more fuel possibilities than natural gas or electricity, including geothermal energy, propane and solar, we’ll stick with the most frequent ones for the time being. All residences have access to electricity, and many have access to natural gas, so there are a variety of alternatives for electric and natural gas water heaters to choose from. In the event that you currently have an electric water heater, continuing with electricity will reduce your installation expenses down significantly.
Even though natural gas water heaters are a bit more expensive than electric water heaters, the savings from using natural gas may be realized in approximately a year.
Comparing Water Heaters with Tanks and Tankless Water Heaters
It is evident from their titles that the most significant distinction between them is that one has a tank that retains water, while the other has not. However, you’ll need additional information to determine whether a tank or a tankless water heater is the best option for you.
Conventional Water Heater with Tank
Typically, a tank-style water heater stores between 30 and 50 gallons of water – some versions may hold even more – which is then kept until hot water is needed again.
- Compared to a tankless water heater, it is less expensive to acquire and install
- It is also available in a wide range of sizes. The insulated tank enables it to offer hot water in the event of a power loss, as well as an emergency water supply in the event of a water service interruption. Cons: The greatest tank-style water heaters have a lower life expectancy (8-12 years) than tankless water heaters (20 years or more)
- They are more expensive. Because of the necessity to heat and reheat a significant amount of water to ensure that it is constantly ready, it is more expensive to run. The amount of hot water accessible is restricted by the size of the storage tank
- There is a danger of water damage to the residence if the tank leaks or ruptures
Tankless Water Heater
An electric or gas burner heats water as it comes through a pipe, rather than storing it, and then distributes that heated water to where it is required in the residence.
- Advantages: According to the United States Department of Energy, a tankless water heater may be up to 34 percent more energy efficient than a traditional water heater with a tank, resulting in significant savings on utility expenses. Water heaters with a tankless design also have a longer life expectancy (more than 20 years), take up less space, and may offer hot water immediately (no waiting for the water to heat up). Purchase and installation costs are higher
- The flow rate (the amount of water that can be heated in a minute) on some models may not provide enough hot water during heavy usage, such as taking two showers at the same time, but this is not a problem if you purchase the appropriate size tankless heater
Ask How Much Hot Water You Need to Determine Best Water Heater Size
We should include the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act when discussing how much hot water you’ll require. This law, which was passed in 2015, calls for increased water heater efficiency. In order to provide improved heat retention, water heater tanks have grown in size without increasing the total amount of storage. As a result of the additional insulation, the overall dimensions has grown by at least two inches in height and two inches in width. If you’re replacing a tank-style water heater in a place that’s not particularly large, this is something to consider.
- A tank-style water heater is one that has a tank.
- It’s crucial to remember that a larger tank does not always equate to a greater FHR, since certain models with smaller tanks have a faster recovery rate than others.
- The EnergyGuide label, which is required by the Federal Trade Commission on all new storage tank water heaters, includes a rating for the first hour of operation.
- Gas water heaters heat water more quickly than electric water heaters, therefore if you pick an electric water heater, you may require a larger size.
- Tankless systems that run on gas are often more efficient than those that run on electricity, and they also heat the water more quickly.
- However, a gas-fueled tankless heater will meet the needs of any home with four or more people significantly more effectively than an electric system.
Calculating the peak hot-water demand in your house, just like you would with a tank-style water heater, is an excellent first step in determining the best tankless device for your needs. A certified plumber can also assist you in evaluating your alternatives.
Water Heater Maintenance to Optimize Performance and Longevity
The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, which was passed in 2015 and calls for increased efficiency in water heaters, should be brought up when discussing how much hot water you’ll need. In order to provide improved heat retention, water heater tanks have grown in size without increasing the total volume of stored water. As a result of the additional insulation, the overall dimensions has expanded by at least two inches in height and two inches in width. You should take this into consideration if you’re replacing a tank-style water heater in a small location.
- Tank-style water heater: Take note of the first-hour rating (FHR), which is the number of gallons of hot water that can be given every hour if the tank of hot water is completely full.
- The installation of this water heater in a bigger home is an example of how a household may require more than one water heater.
- The Department of Energy provides a straightforward spreadsheet to assist you in determining the appropriate size of water heater for your needs and circumstances.
- When it comes to correctly sizing a tankless water heater, the flow rate in gallons per minute is critical.
- The demands of a home with only one or two people may be met by an electric system.
- Calculating the peak hot-water demand in your house, just like you would with a tank-style water heater, is an excellent first step in determining the best tankless device for your situation.
- The pressure relief valve should be checked because if there is an excessive buildup of pressure in the water heater tank, it may explode. When the pressure relief valve is functioning correctly, it automatically opens to alleviate the pressure. It may be tested by gently pulling up on the lever at the top of the pressure relief valve to check whether any water is discharged via the overflow tube. Clean the bottom of the tank: Sediment can accumulate on the bottom of a water heater’s tank over time. It lowers the efficiency of your water heater and increases the likelihood of it failing prematurely. Make certain that the water heater’s power source is turned off before commencing the cleansing operation.
The pressure relief valve should be checked because if there is an excessive buildup of pressure in the water heater tank, it might explode. It automatically opens to alleviate the pressure when the pressure relief valve is functioning correctly. It may be tested by gently pulling up on the lever at the top of the pressure relief valve to check whether any water is discharged via the overflow tube; Water heaters can accumulate sediment on the bottom of the tank over time.
Flush the tank once a month to keep the silt at bay. Water heater efficiency is reduced, and it increases the likelihood of a premature breakdown. Before commencing the cleansing procedure, be certain that the electricity to your water heater has been turned off.
Everyone need a hot water heater, but not everyone’s demands can be met by the same type of water heater. That is why you should educate yourself in order to make the finest water heater selection possible, taking into account all of your possibilities. Once you know what is available, you may determine whether you want a gas or an electric unit, whether you want a tank or a tankless unit, and what size unit is best for you. When determining if a larger up-front investment is worth it in exchange for years of cheaper utility costs, consider how long you want to remain in your existing house.
When you consider that water heating accounts for around 18 percent of the average home’s energy use, investing in a more energy-efficient model may save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bills.
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.
- Natural gas is a type of energy that is abundant. 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 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.
A further benefit of an electric heat pump water heater is that it may have cheaper energy costs than a gas-fired traditional storage water heater, even if local natural gas prices are lower than electricity rates.
Should I Buy a New Water Heater from a Retailer or a Plumber?
Replacing the water heater in your house in the Cincinnati region is a significant undertaking. The majority of homeowners are concerned about whether or not it is acceptable to acquire equipment at retail, either online or through local home improvement stores, rather than hiring a plumber when purchasing a new water heater. Despite the fact that retailers offer low costs on equipment, are they the most advantageous option when shopping for a new water heater? Despite the fact that we are a plumbing firm, we are not prejudiced in our recommendation that you purchase your new water heater through your plumber.
These distinctions, on the other hand, have significant implications for your water heater installation process.
With the information provided here, you’ll be aware of what you’re getting yourself into no matter which route you choose.
When you contact us now, you will receive a free quote for water heater installation!
The Retail Experience When Buying a New Water Heater
The large number of home improvement businesses and online sellers available today provides homeowners with a diverse selection of water heater systems from which to pick and compare. It appears that taking advantage of advertised discounts and cheap pricing would save you money on your water heater installation job, but is the low price really worth it?
Water Heater Quality
The units offered at a retail shop or on the internet are not always the same as those supplied by a local plumbing company. Low retail pricing are frequently feasible as a result of inferior product quality and the use of less durable components in the manufacturing process. Water heaters available for retail purchase may include plastic valves, aluminum anode rods, less insulation, and other components that are not of the same quality as those used in professional installations. The service life of such components is significantly reduced, and they are more susceptible to faults as a result of the materials used.
No Experts On-Hand
It takes specialist expertise to make the appropriate choice when purchasing a new water heater, something most typical homeowners do not possess. Retail staff, for the most part, do not share this sentiment. Retail personnel often do not have the in-depth understanding of plumbing systems and water heating equipment that a certified plumber does, so you will have no one to consult when making your choice of plumbing system or water heater. In most cases, the only information you have to rely on is the product information written on the display or available online for viewing.
Homes may require extra work in addition to just connecting the new unit in order to function properly, such as plumbing system modifications, rerouting plumbing or gas lines, and other related work.
When purchasing a new water heater, such work is frequently required in order to increase capacity, alter fuel sources, or transition from tank to tankless systems.
Sales Only, No Service
A retailer’s primary interest is with obtaining your business by selling you a new unit. Retailers are no longer accessible to help you during the duration of your home improvement project once the transaction has been completed. When compared to a small local business, national chain stores and internet retail giants are less concerned with your happiness with their products. They will not assist you with any difficulties that you may have over the years that your water heater has been in operation for you.
So, what are you going to do with a brand-new water heater if you don’t know how to put it in?
And, more importantly, how are you planning on transporting this massive, heavy object?
Buying a New Water Heater from a Local Plumbing Company
When you purchase a new water heater from a local plumbing firm, you are purchasing more than just equipment; you are also purchasing installation services. Plumbing professionals assist you in picking a new water heater, determining the appropriate size so that the new unit is large enough to satisfy your household’s demands, and providing dependable installation services for the unit. In addition, a plumber is available to you on an ongoing basis in the event that you require assistance following the installation.
Licensed plumbers have years of expertise in the industry and have received extensive training in their field. If you need help determining which water heater types are best for your house, a local plumber can provide valuable insight into the features and possible energy savings of various models. As part of the process of purchasing a new water heater through a plumber, this specialist analyzes the hot water demand of your house to ensure that your new model will produce enough hot water to meet the demands of your entire family.
Quality Water Heating Equipment
Plumbers can acquire water heaters via wholesalers, distributors, or directly from the manufacturer, depending on their needs. Plumbers who work via these professional channels have access to higher-quality equipment that is made with more durable components than systems that are available through retail channels. Plumbers benefit from long-term relationships built over years of conducting business, which allows them to provide lower prices to customers and pass the savings on to them. They take care of placing orders and managing delivery so that you don’t have to.
After purchasing a new water heater from a plumbing firm, it is installed by a professional plumber who is licensed to do so. He or she completes all of the work required to put your new system into operation for the benefit of your family. This includes not only the installation of the unit itself, but also any extra work that is required to make room for it, such as installing gas lines or rerouting plumbing pipes if necessary. When you purchase a new water heater and have it installed by a plumber, you are also entitled to the labor warranty provided by the contractor.
When it comes to system repairs covered by your manufacturer’s warranty, your plumber can also assist you with this process.
Your pleasure is important to a local plumbing firm that cares about its customers. In the future, if your new water heater requires maintenance or repairs, you can rely on your plumber to provide you with dependable assistance.
Don’t Expect a Plumber to Install a Retail Unit
It appears to be an excellent idea at first glance to purchase an inexpensive replacement water heater from a shop and then hire an experienced plumber to do the installation. After all, you’d be saving money on the project by taking advantage of the retailer’s promotional pricing. Unfortunately, the vast majority of certified plumbers do not handle these sorts of water heater installation services. It is impossible for a plumber to guarantee the quality of a new water heater purchased outside of a working relationship, nor can the plumber ensure that the unit is the proper type for your home.
The majority of plumbing businesses will not install water heaters that have been purchased by the homeowner elsewhere.
Retailer Installation Woes
The last several years, prominent internet and home improvement merchants have begun to provide installation services for equipment purchased from their respective firms online and in stores. Because these businesses promote that the job is carried out by a licensed expert, many homeowners consider them to be a viable alternative. After all, a local plumbing business will not install a water heater purchased from a retailer, so why not take use of the retailer’s service instead? There are certain disadvantages to employing a service like this when purchasing a new water heater.
If you have concerns about a contractor’s credentials or reputation, there isn’t much you can do to resolve the situation.
This additional step between you and the plumber adds to the amount of time it takes to resolve the issue and increases the likelihood of communication failures.
Choose ThomasGalbraith for Water Heater Installation
In the last several years, prominent online and home improvement shops have begun to provide installation services for equipment purchased through their respective firms’ websites. Given that these businesses promote that the job is carried out by a licensed expert, many homeowners consider them to be a viable alternative. Because a local plumbing business will not install a water heater purchased from a store, it makes sense to employ the retailer’s service, right? Not necessarily. When purchasing a new water heater, there are several disadvantages to employing a service like this one.
If you have concerns about the credentials or reputation of the contractor, there isn’t much you can do.
There is an additional step between you and the plumber, which adds to the overall time it takes to resolve the issue and increases the likelihood of communication problems.
Homeowners who have decided to employ these services have complained of poor performance by store contractors, as well as difficulties in having their problems resolved.
5 Things you Need to Know Before Buying a Water Weater
Purchasing a new water heater is not something you do very frequently, so when the time comes to replace your water heater, you want to be sure you do it correctly. Take into consideration these five variables while shopping for a new water heater for your home or workplace before making your final decision on which model to purchase.
1. Fuel Source
Water heaters for household use are most commonly powered by gas or electricity, depending on the model. It is important to determine if your present tank water heater is powered by natural gas or propane if it is already gas-fired. Gas water heaters often have a greater initial cost and necessitate the use of appropriate ventilation for health and safety reasons. However, they are able to balance their initial expenditures over time by having reduced running costs. Electric versions tend to have lower initial expenses, but they also tend to have greater operational costs over time.
2. Energy Efficiency
No matter what fuel you use, a water heater might be the third greatest energy user in your home, depending on the size of your household. Because of this, you should choose an energy-efficient device if at all feasible when purchasing a new unit. Fortunately, all modern water heaters have a high level of energy efficiency, allowing them to comply with stringent Federal energy efficiency regulations. Look for theEnergy Factor (EF) rating on the device to determine its efficiency. Efficiencies in energy conversion and heat loss during storage are measured by this rating.
3. Storage Type
Tank-style water heaters continue to be the most popular choice in the United States of America. In operation, a storage heater heats and stores hot water continuously until the hot water outlet is switched on, at which point it releases the water from the top of the tank. Cold water is pumped into the tank from the bottom to replace the hot water, ensuring that the tank is constantly fully stocked. The fact that the water is continually heated in the tank means that energy might be squandered even when there is no water flowing through the faucet.
By using on-demand or tankless water heaters, which may be fueled by either electricity or natural gas, it is feasible to eliminate heat waste while simultaneously reducing energy usage by 20 to 30 percent.
You will never run out of hot water with one of these systems.
4. Storage Capacity
The majority of tank water heaters are rated according to how many gallons they can store. For storage-tank water heaters, the first-hour rating and the gallons-per-minute rating indicate how rapidly water is heated and provided over a period of time. On-demand water heaters do not have any storage capacity, but the gallons-per-minute rating reflects the “capacity” of the flow rate in gallons per minute.
If you want to draw hot water from numerous sources at the same time, you may want to consider installing two or more units that can operate in parallel to ensure an acceptable flow rate is achieved.
5. Space Required
Another element to consider while making your decision is the amount of available space. If you live in an area where a standard-sized water heater cannot be installed, there are other solutions available. Reduced in height and width compared to standard-height water heaters, lowboys or short water heaters are able to carry the same quantity of water while yet fitting into spaces with limited headroom. This will allow them to be put in difficult-to-reach areas like as crawl spaces and beneath cabinetry, for example.
While referring to these five variables when deciding on your future water heater installation, always take your time and thoroughly analyze your alternatives.
They can also aid you with water heater installations.