Do you need to replace your old, worn, or leaking hot water heater? Before you buy, take a look at the top factors to consider when choosing a new model.
Homeowners have multiple water heater options. When it comes to residential water heating, two primary types meet most homeowner's needs: The tank and tankless models.
Tank, or conventional, water heaters use a reservoir to store hot water. These are the most common hot water heaters, and often the least expensive to buy. Powered by natural gas, electricity, oil, or propane, these appliances heat the water and hold it in an insulated tank. The hot water your family uses comes from the heated reservoir.
Even though a conventional tank water heater is less pricey to buy, a tankless model may cost you less in the long-run.
Instead of heating and holding water, tankless models heat on demand. Using gas or electricity, a tankless heater only uses power as needed (when you are actively using hot water). These models also take up less space than the conventional storage tank type.
Along with these types of water heaters, some homeowners choose the less common (but equally as effective) heat pump, tankless coil, or solar water heaters.
Both tank and tankless models use different types of fuels as power sources. Depending on where you live and how your home is set up, you may need to rely on one specific type. If you have existing natural gas or electric hook-ups, it's less expensive to install a matching water heater type. Some homes also use propane or oil as well.
Solar water heaters are an extremely cost-effective alternative, using the sun's energy as a power source. While these water heaters may come with a higher initial purchase price, they'll save you money over time by heating for a very low cost considerably.
The Environmental Impact
The less energy the water heater uses, and the lower the overall emissions it creates, the better the appliance is for the environment. You may also find that the more environmentally friendly a water heater is, the less it costs to use it.
Aside from solar models, tankless hot water heaters tend to use the least energy - in comparison to other types. Tankless models (when used for under 41 gallons of water production per day) are 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient than the tank-reservoir models, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Tankless models also typically have lower emissions than conventional water heaters. The specific emission amount varies, based on the type of fuel used, how often you use the water heater, how much water you heat, and whether the hot water heater is a high-efficiency model.
The Amount of Water
How much hot water do you use daily? Larger families tend to have greater water needs, requiring a higher capacity heating system. If you have multiple family members who use hot water daily for showering, washing dishes, and washing clothes, you'll need a larger capacity tank/conventional heater or possibly multiple tankless models.
Calculating the specific amount of water required per day and matching it to the water heater is a challenging at best. Tank storage models (conventional and alternative fuel) come in a variety of sizes. A plumber or installation expert can help you to determine what size meets your family's estimated daily use.
Likewise, the installer can help you to calculate if one tankless model is enough to sufficiently heat the water you need per day. Some homes require multiple tankless units to provide on-demand hot water at each faucet during heavy use.
Do you need a new water heater? Contact Termine's Specialty Supply for more information.