Water Heaters 101: What To Look For When Buying One

kevin@mac-works.comPlumbing, Residential

Water Heaters 101 guide

Out of all the appliances in your home, your water heater is one of the most important ones. It’s responsible for providing you hot water when you shower, warm water when you wash dishes and more. But since it’s one of the most used appliances in your home, that also equates to potentially high energy costs. This is why getting the right water heater for your home is not only essential but also cost-effective.

Here’s everything you need to know to make a wise choice when deciding on the kind of water heater to get for your home:

The Different Types of Water Heaters

With so many different types of water heaters to choose from, the decision might be overwhelming as you try to find the perfect one for your home. There are solar-powered units, heat pumps, tank, tankless and more. When choosing a water heater, it’s best to consider the size of your family and your area’s utilities.

First, you need to identify the fuel source your home needs, which will make figuring out the best one that fits your needs more comfortable. Here are the different fuel sources for water heaters:

Gas/Propane – These need a burner to heat the water, as well as air circulating it. These are usually more expensive than electric options, but are more energy efficient and will cut down on your energy bill. However, you can’t have any combustible materials around it. Sizes range from 30 to 100 gallons on average.

Electric – These water heaters can be less expensive than other types, and there are many high-efficiency options on the market. They run using one to two heating elements that are replaceable if they go out. Tank sizes go from 20 to 100 or more gallons.

Heat Pump or Hybrid – If you want a decrease in your energy bills, opt for a heat pump or hybrid option, which uses energy from the air to heat your home’s water. It’s much bigger than regular electric water heaters and uses outside air (or air where it’s at) to run. These come in built-in water tanks or as an add-on to your existing one. They range from 50 to 80 gallons.

Not only are their different fuel water heaters, but also different types:
On-demand/Tankless – This water heater only heats the water as you use it and it doesn’t store any hot water in its tank. The water is heated as it goes through a series of coils. It’s usually more energy-efficient than storage tanks, and they are available in electric, natural gas models, and liquid propane. These are great options for those who don’t need to heat more than two units at the same time.

Storage Tanks – As the most common water heater, these feature an insulated tank that heats the water and stores it until it’s used. They come in natural gas models, electric and liquid propane models.

Utility/Point-of-Use – If you’re looking for a small storage tank water heater, these are the best to get, primarily if they are used for shops, garages or outbuildings. They range from 2.5 to 19 gallons.

What To Look For In A Water Heater
Other things to consider when buying a water heater include its capacity, how much space it takes up and any advanced technology features you might want it to have. The capacity is important because it needs to work for your family size, so you might need to know how much hot water you need on average. Water heaters come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll need to measure the space where it goes and find one that fits. As far as technology, there are some different types of features like Dry-Fire Protection, ENERGY STAR, and High Efficiency. Some even have Wi-Fi Capabilities.

You can also opt for add-on accessories that will only improve the unit’s safety and efficiency. These accessories include expansion tanks, timers, water alarms, water heater pans and more!

Choosing a water heater can be stressful so let Frew Plumbing help you choose the best one for your family’s needs!