Water Heater Buying Guide

An efficient and effective hot water heater is as essential to your home’s comfort as a perfectly-suited furnace, or a wonderfully cooling air conditioner. It probably isn’t surprising then that the purchase of a water heater can be just as complex and confusing as the purchase of a furnace or air conditioning unit. However, getting the right water heater installed is just a matter of following the right steps and consulting with the right HVAC professionals.

Determine the right fuel source for your new water heater

Possibly the most important decision you’ll have to make regarding your new water heater is whether a gas or electric heater would best meet the needs of you and your family. An HVAC professional will certainly be able to help you make the best choice, but here’s the basic information you should know.

A gas water heater, first and foremost, requires that your home or building has a gas power source available. A gas water heater may have higher installation costs than an electric water heater because a gas water heater requires ventilation. Gas water heaters may also require more maintenance. The benefits of gas water heaters include superior insulation and that they will keep running even during an electrical outage. Gas water heaters also tend to be cheaper to run than electric water heaters.

As you may have inferred from the above paragraph, an electric water heater is ideal for homes and buildings that don’t have a gas power source. They also have lower upfront costs associated with them, and are easier to maintain. The downside of electric water heaters is that they may be more expensive to run.

Select the correct size water heater for your home

Hot water needs can vary widely from one home to the next and can get even more complicated in larger buildings. The size of hot water heater you require depends on the size of your house or building, how many hot water devices it has, and how many people reside in it. Your best bet for determining the size of hot water heater you require is contacting an HVAC professional who can give you the best options for both hot water efficiency and energy efficiency.

Choose between a traditional tank-based water heater, and a newer tankless model

For those who have a preference for traditional technology, tank-based water heaters are still available for installation. Tank-based models may require more space and have a limited hot water capacity. It also takes time for the tank of water to reheat. However, tank-based water heaters do tend to have a lower price tag.

Tankless water heaters are both space-saving, due to the lack of a tank, and energy-saving, because they only heat water when there is a demand for it. Tankless heaters can also produce an endless supply of hot water and as long as the unit is the proper size for your home, it will allow you to operate most hot water devices at the same time. As you might expect, tankless water heaters do have a higher price tag than traditional tank-based models but save money over the long-term.

Other types of water heaters include heat pump water heaters, tankless coil and indirect water heaters, and solar water heaters.

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