When choosing a new water heater for our home, select a water heating system that will provide not only sufficient hot water but also will use our energy efficiently, saving us money in the long run. A water heater typically consumes about 15% of the annual energy bill. That means that if we are not using the right one for our home’s needs, we could be spending hundreds of dollars every year.
Another issue most people run into is that they buy a new water heater in an emergency: when their current one breaks, causing them to decide in a rush, which could lead to them purchasing an option that is not right for their needs.
Considering the different types of water heaters available and determining the right size and fuel source for your home. Make sure to do research first to determine which water heater is right for our home.
Water heater guide that will help you choose the best water heater system to purchase for your home.
Types of Water Heaters
It’s a good start to know first the different types of water heaters available before purchasing one:
- Conventional Storage Water Heaters: Fueled by natural gas, propane, fuel oil or electricity, this water heater provides a ready reservoir or storage tank of hot water between 20 and 80 gallons. The major downside of this type of water heater is that it continually uses energy to heat the water, a process called standby energy loss.
- Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters: This type of water heater uses a gas burner or electric heating element that provides hot water only when needed which avoids standby energy loss. Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use our home’s space heating system to heat water.
- Heat Pump Water Heaters: Also known as a hybrid water heater, this type of system takes warm air, keeps its heat, and transfers it to our home’s water supply. It uses electric, gas, and geothermal energy sources and works better in warmer climates.
- Solar Water Heaters: It uses solar power to heat water in a storage tank. There are two types of solar water heaters: active, which have circulating pumps and controls; and passive, which don’t.
When choosing the best type and model of water heater for your home, consider the following:
- Size: A perfectly sized water heater will meet our household’s hot water needs while operating more efficiently. Conventional water heaters come in four sizes: 30 gallons for 1-2 people, 40-50 gallons for 2-3 people, and 50 gallons or more for four people and above. For tankless water heater, sizing is more complicated, as it is not about the water heater providing a steady reserve hot water but producing hot water when needed. To size this, we need to identify the flow rate and the temperature rise we’ll need for its use (whole house or a remote use, such as just a bathroom) in your home.
For other types of water heaters, consult a qualified contractor to learn more about selecting a new water heater.
- Fuel type, availability, and cost: It varies in the fuel type we use for water heating that will affect not only the water heater’s annual operation costs but also its size and energy efficiency. These are water heater options by fuel or energy source:
- Fuel Oil
- Geothermal Energy
- Natural Gas
- Solar Energy
- Energy Efficiency: To fully utilize your energy and cost savings, you may want to know how energy efficient a water heater is before getting one. We can determine the energy efficiency of a water heater by its Energy Factor. Energy Factor measures the volume of hot water the unit generates per unit of fuel it consumes which indicates a higher energy factor means a more efficient water heater.
- Costs: Before purchasing the water heater, it’s also a great idea to estimate its annual operating costs and compare the prices with other less or more energy-efficient models. There are brands like Bradford who offer good quality low-cost tankless water heater. Check out some honest reviews for Bradford White water heater here.
Since the water heater consumes so much of your annual energy bill, take your time choosing the best one for your home. Research the types and sizes, and more importantly get a professional input before your water heater fails and leaves you with an emergency decision. Also, when you’re making such an essential investment,
make sure to choose a professional installer to get the job done accurately.
Einstein Pros can assist you to choose the right water heater that works best for your home. We also provide plumbing, heating & cooling, and sewer & mainline services throughout Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. Please contact us at (888) 671-7767 or email [email protected] for more information about water heater services and more.