Hot water heaters seem to work forever – until they don’t. Often the only way you know is a flood from underneath or a very cold shower! There are more hot water heater options than ever available today.
Many heaters come with a 12-year warranty. If your heater has been working hard for more than that (say 15+ years), it is probably time to start your research for a new one
The good news is that you will find lots of choices since you bought your last heater. In addition, due to more energy-efficient regulations your new heater will be more cost and energy efficient.
Studies show that heating water can add up to 20 percent of your utility costs, so it will be helpful to do your homework and choose wisely!
Some quick considerations on your new hot water heater options.
#1. Capacity. How big a unit do you need? A family of four might take several showers, run the dishwasher, and wash a load or two of laundry in an average day, using 100 gallons of hot water or more. But that doesn’t mean they need a 100 gallon storage tank. So what you need to know is two numbers. First is the FHR or first hour rating and the GPM or gallons per minute. These numbers tell you how much hot water the tank can deliver in the first hour.
#2. Size. Will the new unit fit in the space your old unit occupied? Don’t assume! Due to increased insulation and other efficiency improvements, your new models with the same size capacity may be wider and/or taller than your old water heater.
#3. Water heater types. They have some new stuff!
Storage tank heaters. This is probably what you have currently. Basically it is a big tank with resistance heaters or gas burners what maintains hot water in the tank at all times. Tanks can use electricity or natural gas to heat water although gas typically is more efficient by up to %50. Natural gas heaters will more expensive up front.
On demand heaters. These tankless heaters produce hot water on demand. You open the faucet and the energy is produced to heat water as it passes through the tank. Obviously, since the heaters do not store hot water all the time they are more efficient and less expensive to run. On the other hand they are more expensive to purchase and can be limited to the amount of water they heat at once.
Heat pump heaters. These hybrid heaters capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. They use a heat pump (similar to an air conditioning system), which means they require a lot more room for installation. They are much more efficient that standard electric heaters but they cost more upfront. Installation is also more complicated as they need space and plumbing for condensate.
If this all seems complicated, just call us and we can help you decide the best hot water heater options for your home. Plus we can offer great prices and professional installation with over 40 years of experience!