Your home’s water heater provides a steady flow of warm water for bathing, laundering, cooking and other household needs. Typical gas water heaters will last from 6 to 8 years. Electric water heaters last somewhat longer, on average, 8 to 10 years. Tankless water heaters last longer, about 20 years. When your water heater needs replacing, you will have to consider a number of issues. These 3 considerations can help guide you toward the right water heater for your home.
1. Choose the Right Fuel Type
Homeowners can choose from a range of water heaters that use different types of fuel. Electricity and natural gas are the most common types of fuel used. However, depending on the area of the country, propane, fuel oil, geothermal energy or solar energy may also be used for heating water. The annual cost of usage often determines the best type of fuel to use for water heating.
2. Choose the Right Size of Water Heater
The homeowner will have to estimate the average amount of hot water the household uses in order to determine the right size water heater. A number of different worksheets or calculators can be used to determine how much hot water your household uses in an average day.
- Systems that use a conventional tank use the “first hour rating” to determine the ability to provide hot water. This rating denotes the number of gallons of hot water the unit can supply per hour.
- Tankless water heaters use a rating that measures the maximum temperature rise at a given flow rate. Plumbing professionals, such as those at Rooter Pro Plumbing, can help you with these calculations.
- Solar water heaters use a calculation for the total collection area and the storage volume needed to provide sufficient water for your household.
3. Determine the Right Cost
Finally, the homeowner should determine how much they should budget for their new water heating system. Conventional tank heaters are among the least expensive. Tankless heaters cost up to 3 times more. Solar water heaters cost even more because of the solar panels required, as well as their installation. However, over the life of the system, they save significant amounts on your energy bill.
The right water heater will ensure that your family has a sufficient amount of hot water whenever they need it. The right choice will also help you to control your energy costs throughout the year. These 3 tips will help you make the right choice.
Guest Author Bio: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston.