If you have just moved into a new home, you might need to purchase a water heater to ensure that you and your family are well supplied with hot water to be used in the bathroom, kitchen, and elsewhere. It is one of the most essential purchases you will ever make, and necessary for day to day usage and general sanitary purposes. However, there are many, many models available on the market these days, and determining the right model for you might be an overwhelming experience. The following is a helpful list of the top five frequently asked questions when shopping around for a water heater.
1. What Is The Capacity I Need To Look Into?
It depends on how many people you have in your household. If you are a 2 person house, then the water heater needs to accommodate about 23 to 36 gallons, for example. All standard water heaters for residencies come in a wide range of sizes and capacities, with some going up to 80 gallons for a family of 7 or more.
However, you should also be sure to look into the heater’s raring for the first hour – this is an indicator of how much hot water you can get from the water heater in a short time. Also known as FHR, it will come imprinted on the tank that you purchase, and it helps you to determine how much hot water your family needs during peak times in the day. Perhaps there’s a run on the hot water supply in the morning when everyone is up and takes a shower. In any case, checking the FHR in relation to the heater’s capacity for how many people you reside in your household is an important first step.
2. Should I Purchase A Gas Water Heater Or An Electric Model?
The most popular options on the market when it comes to water heaters are those that utilize either a gas flame or electric heat to generate the hot water. Whether or not to purchase one or the other depends largely on your own needs. You should take into account your local utility costs and jot down the cost-benefit analysis form to help you decide between the two. Gas heaters are typically cheaper to operate than electric ones. However, they also cost more upfront than electric models. If you’re a bit stuck, this helpful page can make navigating the differences between the models a bit easier. Just bear in mind that based on the energy savings, gas heaters generally pay for themselves within a year in terms of the money you’ll be saving.
3. What Is The Difference Between Tank Water Heaters And Tankless Ones?
Simply put, storage tank water heaters require less maintenance and cost less than tankless water heaters. Unfortunately, they also tend to use more energy, and if you don’t use all that stored hot water it will cool down entirely. You’ll have to wait to preheat the water in the tank, continuously throughout the day.
4. How Do I Make Sure My Energy Bills Don’t Go Through The Roof?
There are water heaters designed specifically to conserve energy, and this is certainly a feature you need to have on the top of your list when looking for one. At the end of the day, saving energy saves money since heating water can consume up to 18%. Even though it’s true that opting for a water heater that saves energy will probably be heavier on your wallet, you’ll find that looking forward it will save you much more than you had initially spent. And, given that people have become increasingly worried about climate change, there are a lot of incentives offered to those who invest in energy-efficient models that come in the form of cash rebates and zero-interest payment plans.
5. Where Should The Heater Tank Be Placed?
This can be a tricky question since it depends on how much space is afforded by your home. Many installers will recommend moving the new heater into an all-metal enclosure built primarily for water heaters. However, you can also look into creating an outside enclosure for the water heater since that can be both safe and a money-saving measure. Another added benefit is that if any leaks happen, the chance of water damage to your home is significantly minimized.
Purchasing a water heater is one of the most important steps you can take for your home. While there are perhaps too many models available on the market nowadays, they have the added benefit of offering different styles that are more attuned to your needs. The key to finding the right one is understanding your criteria and then researching the models at your local retailer that can best meet them.