water heater

Expert Advice: 3 Tips To Picking Out The Right Water Heater

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.

9 thoughts on “Expert Advice: 3 Tips To Picking Out The Right Water Heater

  1. I think size would be my biggest problem when choosing a heater. I would want to get the right size for my future. I think that is hard to determine, though. I don’t know how big my family is or how often people will spend the night. It would be helpful to see a chart comparing average water heater size to family size.

  2. I didn’t realize that there were calculators or worksheets available that could help you gauge the amount of hot water you typically use in a day. I would imagine that installing a water heater that heated only as much water as you actually use would save you money in gas in the long run. I think I heard something about some heaters that only heat water as it is being used ,so that could be worth checking out as well.

  3. I didn’t realize that it was so important to make sure that the water heater that you choose has the right fuel type. I know that the house that I live in does not have a gas line so that would not be an option for me. I think that an electrical or solar water heater would be a good option because that way I would not need to have a gas line installed in my house.

  4. Our water heater is getting a little old and doesn’t seem to be as efficient as before. We have a large family, and perhaps a larger water heater would be beneficial for us. I didn’t realize that there were different types of calculations for different water heaters. We will definitely need to contact a professional to help us see what size would be the best for us. Thanks for sharing this informative article to help pick a water heater!

  5. I like that you said that the homeowner should determine how much they should pay. If I was going to get a new water heater I would want to know that I’m not paying too much for it. You might want to look at different water heaters and decided if you’re paying the right amount.

  6. My mother’s water heater has pretty much completely stopped working, and we figure it’s probably time for a new one. You wrote that you should consider the amount of people who will be needing hot water, and choose a water heater size based on that. Since my mother lives alone, she won’t need a very large water heater. Thank you for the fun blog.

  7. Nice tips, Kristen especially when it comes to the control of the energy costs. In my opinion: a good choose is to get a good tankless water heater wich will save your money and of course, you’ll have fewer headaches. Thanks!

  8. Lately, we have noticed that our hot water hasn’t been lasting very long. I can’t even seem to be able to take an entire shower without the hot water running out. We want to make sure this is fixed as soon as possible. We are thinking of having a larger water heater installed. I didn’t realize that the “first-hour rating” was used to determine the ability to provide hot water, but we’ll be sure to look at this and find one that is large enough for our family.

  9. Someone recently told me that their water heater had broken within their first year in a new home. I love that you mentioned the importance of calculating the amount of hot water your household uses on an average day in order to determine the size of water heater one should purchase. Thank you for the tips on how to determine which water heater should be purchased for your home according to its size and residents.

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