How To Choose The Right Water Heater
You’ve just moved into a new home, and you’re looking to purchase a water heater. You know that a water heater is a pretty hefty investment, but you’re unsure as to what factors make that investment worthwhile. You want a water heater that fits your budget, your fuel sources, and your overall home. There are three important criteria to keep in mind when looking to find your perfect water heater
We’ve lumped these together because the cost of running your system goes hand in hand with its energy efficiency. Your instinct might be to jump at the least expensive water heater you find, but that’s not always your best bet. Keep in mind that your water heater is a long-term investment. Being a little generous with your initial purchase is going to save you from frequent repair bills down the road or pre-mature replacement.
Before deciding on a specific type of water heater, you need to know what type of fuel it takes, and how available/expensive that fuel is in your area
Most of these power sources are offered throughout the United States, but costs and rates vary. If you are purchasing a water heater for the first time, compare local fuel costs against water heater types. If you’re looking into water heater replacement, consider switching fuel sources for potentially lower utility bills
How many bathrooms and sinks do you have in your home? If you’re leaning towards a small, barely-there system in a house that has several bathrooms, you won’t have enough hot water. Similarly, large systems are inappropriate for smaller homes that have fewer bathrooms and sinks. Think about this sizing when deciding on which type of water heater to purchase.
What Type Of Water Heater Is Right For You?
Few things are more unpleasant than a cold shower. If you’re suffering through a frigid blast of water every morning, it’s time to invest in a new water heater.
As you might expect, there are many options when it comes to purchasing a new hot water heater. You’ll need to choose the right one in order to meet your home’s needs, while also reducing energy costs and your environmental impact.
Here are some factors to consider when shopping for hot water heaters:
Size: You’ll need a water heater with the capacity to provide your household with enough hot water.
Efficiency: To save on heating costs and minimize your environmental impact, choose a water heater that delivers the best energy efficiency.
Cost: Compare the annual costs associated with running different water-heating systems. Generally, there will be trade-off between up-front costs (higher for more efficient systems) and annual costs (higher for less efficient systems).
Fuel: The energy source (gas, oil, electricity) you use to heat your water will have an impact on running costs, energy efficiency and capacity.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
The most common water-heating system is the storage tank, which provides a ready supply of hot water.
The tank is insulated and can store 20 to 80 gallons of water. When you turn on the hot water tap, the tank releases hot water from a pipe on the top of the tank. The tank is then replenished with cold water. Because storage tanks use energy to ensure the tank water is constantly heated, they can drain energy even when you aren’t using hot water.
Electric water heaters: criteria for choosing
Looking for a new water heater? If your old one has given up the ghost or is about to do so, keep a cool head and take the time to make the right choice. Your hot water needs may have changed, and the characteristics of heaters have evolved in recent years.
Water heater capacity
Too large a water heater will push up your energy bill, whereas too small a heater will leave you without hot water just when you need it. To choose the right size, first determine whether your consumption is normal or high. In general, consumption is considered high if there are teenagers (great lovers of showers!) living in your home or if you have a large-sized bathtub, a spa or a multi-jet shower
Since the Energy Star program evaluates the performance only of gas, heat pump or solar models, you need to turn to various yield measurements to judge the efficiency of an electric water heater
In particular, you should consider its heat loss, in other words the loss of heat in unused water through the tank’s fairly well insulated walls. These losses vary according to the temperature of the hot water and that of the ambient air: the cooler the room where the heater is located, the greater the losses.
Quality of construction
An electric water heater must meet the requirements of Standard C-191 set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Choosing Your Water Heater
Available Energy Sources
After reading on the different energy sources available, such as gas water heaters, thermodynamic water heaters, solar water heaters and electric water heaters, you’ve chosen the electric water heater, which requires little space, no ventilation nor maintenance.
40 or 60 gallons? Here are some things to consider to make the right choice: number of family members, number of bathrooms, number of simultaneous uses and the use of a whirlpool bathtub. The best reference is the tank capacity of your old water heater: did it sufficiently meet your hot water needs?
Warranties and Service Contracts
There are two types of warranties: the manufacturer’s warranty and the supplier’s warranty. Manufacturers who offer longer-term warranties on their water heaters usually use superior quality materials and design to ensure their products’ reliability. One point to consider: the staff’s availability before and after the sale.
Will you choose the worry-free and mess-free installation carried out by a professional in your area, or will you choose to do the installation yourself? This decision will have an impact on the warranty of your water heater. Hardware stores offer standard water heaters, but the installation service is rarely included. You then have to think about the tools you’ll need to acquire if you decide to do it yourself or consider the service fees of a plumber.
Water Heater Features
The construction, the insulation, the cold water entry, the safety accessories like the safety valves and the drain pan, the anticorrosion parts, the number of elements are all factors you need to consider. Ask the advice of your local water heater experts to help you better identify these features.
Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Tired of running out of hot water in the shower (or anywhere else, for that matter)? Is your current water heater on the fritz, ready to succumb to years of constant use? Whatever your situation, when it concerns a new water heater, there’s a big choice to make: tank or no tank? Tankless is becoming more and more popular, but how do you know if it’s right for you?
Unlike conventional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water only as it is used, or “on demand”. Tankless units have a powerful burner or heating element that’s activated by the flow of water when a hot water fixture is used. Free of the limitations of the tank, hot water can be produced in perpetuity. They’re touted as water and energy savers, but as always, it depends on the situation. To choose the best water heater for your home, you’ll need to consider your usage habits, your plumbing fixtures, and the limitations imposed by the house and its existing plumbing.
What Is A Tankless Water Heater?
We’re all familiar with standard tank water heaters, which work well but aren’t all that efficient. No matter how great the tank’s insulation is, the hot water inside will give up its heat over time – that’s just how the universe works. The only way to keep that water hot is to regularly warm it up – a constant cycle that consumes energy and costs you money. Standby heat loss typically accounts for 10-20% of total annual water heating costs. In some homes with standard tank heaters, the energy consumed for heating water is even greater than that used for heating the home itself!
Tankless water heaters were designed to avoid the shortcomings of standard heaters, providing a more energy-efficient way to have a steady hot water supply. Utilizing powerful gas burners or electrical elements, they’re able to rapidly heat water at the time of use, as opposed to storing (and perpetually reheating) it for eventual use. Heating water only when you need it makes sense, and eliminating standby heat loss almost always results in lower energy bills.
In addition to avoiding standby heat loss, tankless heaters are also smarter in how they use fuel (be it gas or electrical energy). By modulating their fuel use, these units use only what’s needed to heat water at the flow rate actually being experienced. If you open up a sink faucet that’s drawing 1gpm, less fuel is used to heat that water than would be used for a tub spout running at 5gpm. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see fuel-use reductions of up to 50% compared to a tank heater