How to choose a water heater?

Did you know that on average, a water heater accounts for about 20% of all the energy used by a household? This number is surpassed only by heating and cooling costs. At the same time, nobody wants to end up with a water heater that doesn’t provide enough water when necessary, forcing members of your family to take cold showers and wash dishes in cold water. This is why choosing a good quality water heater is crucial. In this article, we will guide you through all the steps you need to take when choosing a hot water heater.

Choose fuel type

There are several types of water tanks depending on the fuel they use. Each type has its own pros and cons:

Electric water heater

These tanks use replaceable electric heating elements to heat up water. Their biggest advantage is their price, which is significantly lower compared to hybrid or gas heaters. Plus, some commercially available electric tanks are highly energy efficient.

Gas water heater

These tanks use gas burners to heat water, which is why they require adequate air circulation around them at all times. Plus, you need to ensure that there are no flammable or combustible materials in the vicinity of the heater. While these tanks are more expensive than their electric counterparts, they are also more energy-efficient, which can save you money in the long run. 

Hybrid or heat pump heaters

These appliances take energy from the air and use it to heat up water. Even though these tanks are more expensive than units that utilize other energy sources, they are more energy-efficient. Plus, they generally have a larger capacity than other heaters.

Select water heater type

Hot water tank

These are the most commonly used heaters in the US. Each unit is made up of an insulated tank that collects water, heats it to a certain temperature, and keeps it at that temperature until the water is used. The downsides of these appliances are that they produce only a limited amount of hot water and take up a lot of space. 

Tankless hot water heater

As the name suggests, a tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank where water is collected. Instead, it uses several coils to continuously heat liquid as it passes through them. These appliances are more energy-efficient than conventional models and they supply an unlimited amount of hot water.

Utility heaters

Utility heaters have a relatively small capacity of 2.5 to 19 gallons. These heaters are usually used as secondary units in homes, or they can be installed in garages, stores, or outbuildings to provide small amounts of hot water. They are

Choose heater capacity

If you choose to purchase an electric or gas tank, you need to decide what capacity to get. This will depend on the number of people living in your household and on the average amount of water your family uses. A household where everyone is used to taking quick showers will probably need a smaller capacity tank than a family that’s used to using a lot of hot water. Generally, a household with 1 to 2 people needs a 30-gallon tank, 2 to 3 people need 40 gallons, a family of 3 to 4 will need a 50-gallon unit, and households with 5 and more people should opt for an 80-gallon or more tank.