Useful Water Heater Buying Tips From the Experts
Selecting an efficient water heater is essential as a water heater alone consumes around 20 percent of your total electricity usage. If you are looking to replace your age-old water heater, dedicate some time to research, weigh all your options, and consider the features before making a choice. We have gathered water heater buying tips from experts to ease the buying process and help you make the right choice.
The average capacity of a water heater falls between 40 to 60 gallons. There are even water heaters with a capacity of more than 60 gallons if you have a particularly large household. When selecting water heater capacity, consider the number of family members and your household water usage. For example, a household with four family members might require 100 gallons of hot water. Picking a storage-tank water heater would be a good option, especially for a family with more than 4 members.
However, when you pick a storage water tank heater, don’t forget to check its first-hour rating. This rating tells how much water the heater will deliver in the first hour. The first-hour rating can be checked from official sources to get authentic information. With advances in technology, the efficiency of these water heaters has improved by many folds. Furthermore, the size of the heater may vary from your already installed water heater because the newer versions are bigger.
If you are opting for a tankless heater, check its gallons per minute rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the heater will be in delivering hot water.
The type of heater you select does affect your electricity consumption. There are various types of heaters, and some of them even use half as much energy as conventional heaters. However, the installation and maintenance costs of these efficient models are higher than others. Let’s briefly read about the common types of water heaters.
This heater type doesn’t have any water storage tank and uses coils to heat up water running through. These heaters save up energy by many folds but have a limited flow. Tankless water heaters are ideal for a family of two and are only used once at a time. Most tankless heaters use gas to heat water. There are electric versions as well but they are not quite as popular due to their cost and usage of electricity.
The most common type of heater consists of a water storage tank. The water is heated within the tank and is dispensed from an outlet. The water tank has certain safety mechanisms which include a temperature and pressure relief valve that opens up when too much pressure develops in the heater.
Heat pump water heaters, solar water heaters, and condensing water heaters are some other types to consider. Remember to always evaluate your requirements so you can choose the type of heater best suited for you.
Determining the size of the water heater is another essential factor to consider. The size is dependent on how much water your household consumes. Here are a few ways you can estimate the usage. First of all, check your water bill, water usage meter, and the water usage of any appliance like a washing machine or a dishwasher. Besides estimating water usage, you can compare water heater size charts to find out more about the available options. These water heater sizes have different gallon capacities, so always consider your water usage requirements before choosing the heater size.
The biggest enemy of a water heater is corrosion and mineral build-up in the water heating tank or pipes. Some heaters reduce the build-up by keeping the water moving. Nowadays, several different types of water heaters are available that reduce corrosion by many folds. You can also use different methods to reduce corrosion build-up within the water heater tanks. Steel storage tanks are the best if you want your heating tank to stay corrosion-free. However, the cost of steel water heaters is much higher than porcelain-lined water heater tanks.
Almost every water heater manufacturer offers a warranty. These warranties range from a year to up to 12 years. Most experts suggest buying a heater that offers the most warranty. Heaters with more warranty have bigger water heating burners, better insulation, and are generally more efficient.
Normally, foam or fiberglass is used as an insulation material. The outside of the tank, coils, and most areas within the heater is covered by these materials. An insulation rating between R 16 and R 22 is considered as effective. Heat traps are also installed in newer heater versions that inhibit the outflow of hot water into the main water supply. These heat traps can also be included as an add-on if your existing heater doesn’t have one.
The lifespan of a heater is between 10 and 30 years. The main reason for a heater’s failure is lack of maintenance and neglect. Remember to go with a heater type that’s easy to maintain on your own and doesn’t require much professional intervention. However, various issues might require a certified HVAC professional to resolve the problem.
Heaters have an energy factor that represents the amount of energy used to heat water. The higher the energy factor, the better its efficiency, and the lower the cost of operations. You can calculate the annual operating cost of each heater and compare the results of different heaters to make the best choice.
Besides considering the above-mentioned factors, always research the market to find reputable manufacturers and get the best product. You can also get advice from your contractor or the home maintenance services to ensure that you get the best results. Choosing an energy-efficient heater is advantageous since it lowers energy consumption costs. One last thing to remember is to never rush the process of choosing a heater. Always take your time and compare each option and the offered features so that you can come to an informed decision.
Thank you for reading!