As a homeowner, you know that nothing in your home lasts forever. Things break; appliances need to be replaced. This is the same with your water heater. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, we have some suggestions about what to look for and how to go about making a smart choice.
To Tank or Not to Tank
Perhaps the first question you’ll have to answer before purchasing your new water heater is if you would rather go with the traditional storage tank variety or opt instead for a tankless version.
Tank water heaters are more popular than tankless, and you can choose the size based on your needs. Hot water is heated and stored in a tank new water heater, ready when you need it. The options range in size from 10 gallons and up, and the bigger is better for more people in the home. You’ll also want to make your choice based on recovery rate: how fast the tank refills. If you need hot water for a large amount of time, you could potentially deplete the tank of hot water and only have cold water.
Tankless water heaters heat the water as you need it. The water passes through a series of coils to heat it as it heads to its destination. Most tankless new water heaters can heat up to 3.5 gallons of water per minute. This is a more energy efficient option than a tank variety, although it might not be the best choice if you need to deliver hot water to more than one location simultaneously.
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What’s Your Fuel Source?
Your next consideration is how you’ll be powering your new water heater. Many newer homes are all electric, whereas older homes may also have gas. Most water heaters use electricity, natural gas, or propane gas, and some are solar powered. If you have the availability to choose your power source, experts often suggest opting for natural gas. Although a new water heater will be a little more expensive when it’s gas powered, the cost savings will pay for itself in the long run.
Naturally, solar-powered water heaters are even more energy- and cost-efficient than natural gas, but the upfront cost is substantial. For purchase and installation, you can expect to invest $4,000 to $5,000 for a solar new water heater. This is in comparison with $1,000 to $2,600 for gas and $950 to $2,500 for electric.
With the negligible difference in costs between electric and gas, the energy savings from the gas option will cover that couple hundred extra dollars in the first year.
Consider How Much Space You Have
In a large home with ample garage storage for a new water heater, you could go with a large-capacity tank variety. A small home where the water heater lives in a closet, will ultimately limit the tank capacity selection.
You can categorize water heaters as either tall or short. Taller heaters can be up to 76″ tall and hold up to 100 gallons of water. A short water heater is only 30–49″ tall and holds 50 gallons of water. The latter option is good where space is an issue, particularly height.
Ready to Choose Your New Water Heater?
If it’s time to buy your new water heater, you have some research to do. Tank or tankless, electric or gas, and short or tall are just some of the questions you’ll have as you begin your shopping adventure.
If you have questions about which water heater is right for your home, trust the professionals at Forrest Anderson. We’ve installed thousands of new water heaters for our customers, and we can provide direction to get the best option for you. Contact us to learn more.