Are you buying a new water heater system for your home? As a rule of thumb, choose a water heater that not only provides you with enough hot water on demand, but is also energy efficient to save you money in the long run.
Deciding on the right water heater is challenging; it involves a lot of research and planning for the future. To help you navigate all of the questions you need to ask yourself, we’ve curated a mini user-guide that discusses various factors right from the various water heaters, the right size, and fuel source.
Various Types of Home Water Heaters
When it comes to choosing a heater, there are plenty of options in the market. But do you know what size will work best for your home or family, or what heating methods are most efficient for your lifestyle? Let’s check them out:
Storage Water Heater
A storage water heater has a readily available storage tank of hot water. They’re basically an insulated tank that stores hot water, so it’s already there for you and your household to use. Also called a conventional water heater, they’re the most preferred for both household and commercial use!
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are rising rapidly in popularity due to their compact designs and long lifespan (20 years). They heat the water directly and don’t have a storage tank, so they’re used on-demand. It is widely preferred for residential use, as it requires no dedicated space for the house’s storage tank.
Heat Pump Water Heater
A heat pump is less traditional for residential homes. You’ll see them more in commercial buildings. It moves the heat from one place to the other, rather than producing heat directly.
Solar Water Heater
A solar water heater is extremely sustainable and efficient, though costly upfront. It employs the heat of the sun to provide you with hot water. In the long run, solar water heaters can save you money on your utility bills, but how much it can depends on your lifestyle and where you live.
What Should Be the Selection Criteria?
When finalizing on the right type of water heater and model for your home, you should consider more than just what the different types are. You should look into their upfront cost, energy savings, maintenance, sizing, and more.
Fuel Type, Cost & Availability
The fuel type directly affects annual operating costs of each unit, and also the size and energy efficiency. The various fuel forms include geothermal, fuel oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, and solar energy. You have to compare the fuel costs and availability in your area to make a well-informed decision. For example, a solar-powered unit may be beneficial in Arizona, but less so in Michigan. But then again, If you want to buy a propane tank, you want to go with a company that sells and services multiple locations.
The type of water heater also affects operational costs. For example, an electric heat water pump is way more cost-friendly than an electric water heater with a storage tank. However, you also have to compare the upfront costs to the long term savings on utility bills. It is very possible that a unit with a higher price tag will save you more money on monthly bills due to the energy it takes to heat the water.
Is it the Right Size?
While providing hot water is a necessity, you’ll need to think of how much hot water you’ll actually use and how much space you have to install a water heater. After all, tankless heaters are much better suited for compact areas than those with storage tanks.
Also consider its orientation — horizontal left or horizontal right mount — as a key factor of plumbing. You can reach out to a specialist local plumbing company to provide an honest piece of advice on what water heater size meets your requirements and fits within your budget.
Does it Fit Your Budget?
Before you purchase a water budget, you will need to have a rational idea of the maintenance and annual running costs. Mainly water heaters come with descriptions and promises to monthly savings — don’t overlook those! To help, narrow down on a couple of options and then compare the various water heaters best on the features, quality, and pricing to pick a value-for-money water heater.
If you’re still unsure, ask questions and talk with a plumber about what will be right for you.
Our advice is to look into buying a water heater with maximum energy-efficiency to continually save on your monthly utility bills. To find that information out, check the energy rating. Ideally, it should not be less than five stars. It will come with a higher upfront fee, but investing more for an efficient water heater is always a wise decision.
Should You Go Tank or Tankless?
There are two primary variants of water heaters; one is the tank and tankless water heater. The tankless water heaters are energy-efficient and convenient. It does not store water, so if you want a continuous water supply, then a tank of water heater is an apt choice.
Does it Have a Warranty?
Another factor to mull over when buying a water heater is whether it comes with a warranty. Yes, you can save an enormous amount of money by getting the water that comes with no warranty, but what if the water heater gives trouble in the first few days itself? Who will you contact for a replacement? That’s why we strongly suggest that you go with a reliable brand that provides a good warranty.
Typically, most brands offer a two-year warranty on the components for any manufacturing defects and five years on a tank.
It’s also important to keep in mind the lifespan of your unit when considering a warranty. Most water heaters last an average of 8-12 years.
When in Doubt, Call a Professional
In the end, if you’re still struggling or simply don’t have the time to look into all of the options, call a professional. They’ll recommend a few units for you to check out after getting a basic understanding of you and your households’ needs. After that, they’ll take care of installing the water heater, so you have complete peace of mind.