Having a water heater in your home is a long term investment and as such, you should be able to choose a water heater that works perfectly for your home. With the right choice of a water heater, you can be able to use for about 15 years, without any difficulty. It is important to note in most cases, 15 to 25 percent of the energy, in most homes goes to water heating.
It is therefore, important to understand the various options of water heaters that are available on the market. This would help you make a good decision so that you can find a water heater that would serve your needs in an efficient manner. It is worth noting that there are some models, which tend to consume more energy than others.
The choice of your water heater will determine the type of service that you will get and the number of years that it will remain functional. With this guide, we do hope that you can be able to make an informed decision and purchase the right model of a water heater.
Different Types of Water Heaters
When you intend to buy a water heater, it is important to note that there are so many different types of water heaters. Being able to understand how each type works and what to expect from it would be an added advantage. Here are the main types of water heaters:
✓Storage Water Heaters:
These are the traditional water heaters, found in most homes. While they seem to be quite popular, there are not truly efficient and they tend to the consumer a whole lot of energy. This is mainly due to the fact that they have the huge tanks and the water has to be kept hot, even when it is not being used.
✓Tankless Water Heaters:
These are quite modern and have become a preferred option for most home owners. These are also referred to instantaneous water heaters or demand water heaters. One of the biggest advantage of using the tankless water heater is the energy conservation. They tend to save a whole lot of energy.
With tankless water heaters, the water will only be heated when you need to use. This eliminates the need to store hot water in a tank. Generally, the initial cost of installing water heaters seems to be higher than other models. However, the energy costs you will save and their quality will be worth the price.
✓Solar Water Heaters:
These are water heaters that rely on the outdoor solar panels to have the water heated. Ideally, the serve as a subsidy for the overall water heating process. They will preheat the water and then send it to the storage water heater for more heating if it is necessary. The initial cost may be quite expensive, but this will save you money, in the long run, and cut the energy costs, by over 50%.
The solar water heaters are divided into two main categories:
- Active Solar Water Heaters: With this type of water heater, there are pumps that control and transfer the heat from the solar panel to the water.
- Passive Solar Heaters: In this case, the water will circulate in a natural manner, without the need for pumps.
✓Heat Pump Water Heaters:
These are water heaters that will capture heat from the air and then pass it on to the water. As a result, they will end up using about 60% less energy than conventional water heaters. While the initial cost appears to be more, you will recoup this within a very short period of time, through the energy costs that you will save.
It is important to note that these may not be effective in cold places and would only be effective in areas where the temperatures range from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When installing the hybrid water heater, you would need the clearance of about 7 feet from the floor to the ceiling. This is to be able to accommodate the heat pump, which is usually on top. You can choose this type of water heater as an addition to the storage water heater.
✓Condensing Water Heater:
A condensing water heater is a great option if you use gas as the energy source to heat the water. However, to be able to use this water heater, you would need to have a tank that can hold over 55 gallons.
The condensing water heater has a tank, but it captures the exhaust gases, which, ordinarily go to waste. There is a coil through which the gases are blown and this will allow incoming water to take in most of the heat.
Consider Capacity and Size Of the Water Heaters
What comes into to play is the first-hour rating- FHR for your storage tank water heater. If you have a tankless water heater, the consideration would be the gallons per minute – GPM. These are the two principles that can be used in determining the amount hot water the heater can produce, over a specific period of time.When you go out shopping for a water heater, there are a number of things, which you should consider. Capacity is one critical element as this will determine the ideal water heater for your household. If your family uses about 50 gallons of water in a day, this does not necessary that you need to have a storage of 50 gallons an above.
|Family Size||Peak Demand Output Requirement|
|2 People||45 - 55 Gallons|
|3 People||55 - 65 Gallons|
|4 People||65 - 75 Gallons|
|5 People||75 - 85 Gallons|
|6 People||85 - 100 Gallons|
|7 People||100 or More Gallons|
The time taken to use up the hot water is also an essential consideration because after a while the water will start to cool down, when using the conventional water heaters. This means that it would require the water heater to reheat the water a fresh and this will consume energy. You should seek the services of an expert to help you calculate the right capacity to serve the needs of your family.
For the on-demand water heater, it does not have a tank to store hot water so it this case the Gallons per minter will be the consideration. This unit will provide hot water all through, but if you need to run the dishwasher and the shower simultaneously, you should consider having two separate units.
When purchasing a new water heater, it would be wrong to assume that it will fit in, perfectly, where you had the old system. The modern models seem to have different designs and may be taller or wider than the old water heater. As such, have an expert take the specific measurements required to fit a new water heater.
Features to Consider When Buying a Water Heater
There are a number of features which should be taken into account when buying a water heater. This is to help you find a model that will serve your needs in the best way possible. Here are some of the key considerations, when looking to buy a water heater:
✓Digital Display: When you have a digital display, you can be able to achieve so much and monitor the performance of your water heater. The heat pump water heaters allow you to customize the operation mode of the water heater, which may help conserve energy. The digital displays on the water heaters will display critical information in the collector and the tank, like temperature and the pressure readings among others.
✓Anti-Scale Devices: Scale is said to reduce the lifespan of the heating element and this can be quite frustrating. There are water heaters that come with anti-scale features, which will ideally reduce the mineral scale buildup in the tank. This is achieved by swirling the water over and over again. However, even if the water heater does not have such features you should go for a water heater with a thicker or longer heating element and this should serve the purpose.
✓Brass vs. Plastic Drain Valves: When considering the type of water heater to buy, you should go for the ones that have brass drain valves. Logically, brass is stronger and durable than plastic and this is the main reason to go for it.
✓Glass-Lined Tanks: Water will mix with a number of elements and this may cause corrosion. The main objective of the glass-tinted tanks is to reduce corrosion and this will enhance the durability of the tank.
✓✓ Other Essential Considerations:
There are so many other considerations that you should factor in when looking for the best water heater for your home. Below are some of the other significant factors, which will influence your decision on the type of water heater to buy.
✓ Tankless or Tank Water Heater?
You can choose to have a tank water heater or a tankless water heater, depending on your needs.
- Tank Water Heaters: There are two options in this category; the gas or electric tank system. These type of water heaters have a tank, which is insulated so as to keep the water hot. There is a thermostat, which controls the water temperature.
- Tankless Water Heaters: These are comfortable and energy efficient. There is a very high convenience level since you can get continuous supply of hot water
Depending on your needs, you should be able to make a choice between the tank and the tankless water heaters.
✓ Energy Efficiency:
|Water Heater Types||Efficiency Rating|
|Conversational Gas Storage||0.60|
|Condensing Gas Storage||0.86|
|Conversational Elec Storage||0.90|
|Elec Heat Pump Storage||2.20|
The traditional models have a large tank and the water is heated at once. After a while, the water cools off and the heater will start reheating the water and this will cost you a whole lot, as far as the energy consumption goes. You should careful consider the option that works in the best way for you. The other essential consideration when it comes to the choice of the water heater is the issue of energy consumption. Tankless water heaters are energy efficient than the conventional models. This is due to the fact that they do not have a storage tank and energy is only used when hot water is needed.
The initial cost of installing the tankless water heater is higher than the traditional models. However, in the long run, the tankless models will cut down on the energy costs, due to its energy efficiency.
✓Availability of Space:
When you choose the storage tank water heater, you should have enough space, especially for the large storage tank. The tankless water heater, on the other hand, is compact and requires minimal space to be set up.
✓ Warranty and Durability:
Most water heaters have a warranty of 3 to 15 years. You should buy a water heater with the longest warranty as that indicates the quality of the heater. The tank water heater is subject to wear and tear as well as decay. This means that the tankless water heater is better and durable. Studies indicate that the tankless water heaters may last up to 10 years more than the conventional heaters.
✓ Storage Capacity:
The tankless water heater does not have a storage option and can only produce a few liters of hot water at a go. The traditional tank heater will be able to heat up and store up to 150 liters at ago. As such, you can be able to use water for laundry, washing dishes and showering simultaneously
✓ Your Budget:
The amount of money that you will end up spending on the water heater is also an essential consideration. You should look at all the factors, so as to ensure that you will purchase a water heater that gives you value for your money. Do not just factor the initial price, but the overall cost in the long run. This will help you pick the most suitable type of water heater.
- For more in-depth information about How to Install a Tankless Water Heater? I highly recommend this article
✓✓ Final Conclusion:
The choice of a water heater should be influenced by a number of factors. You would need to consider the capacity and the energy efficiency when selection a water heater. This will give you the convenience of getting hot water, when you need it, without necessarily spending a fortune on the energy bills. With this guide, we hope that you will be able to make an informed decision on the water heater to purchase.