Taking showers, washing dishes and doing laundry will require hot water in most cases. As such, having a reliable water heater would be a great solution. There are so many different types of water heaters and one may not really know how to choose one that will suit their needs. Choosing a water heater goes beyond the price factor as there are other critical factors to consider when buying the water heater.
A good water heater should serve you for over 15 years and this why you need to take all factors into account so as to ensure that you have the right model. Ultimately, the tankless water heaters have become quite popular than the storage water heater tanks. These tankless models will also help you save up on the heating costs. It is advisable to compare the various models that are available on the market before making your final decision. We sincerely hope that our guide will help you find the right water heater.
Different Types of Water Heaters:
There are quite a number of types of water heaters, from different manufacturers. The first step in getting a water heater is being able to understand different models of the water heaters so that you can pick the one that suits your needs perfectly. Here are the common types of heaters on the market:
✓✓ Condensing Water Heater:
For those who use gas as the main heating source for water, you should consider the condensing water heaters. This is a model that has the capacity to take advantage of the gas emissions and heat up the water. It comes with a storage tank with a capacity of 55 gallons.
✓✓ Heat Pump Water Heaters:
These are models that work perfectly in areas where there are warm temperatures. With the heat pump water heaters, they will take up the heat from the air and use it to heat up the water. This means that you will end up save over 60% of the energy costs. This explains the main reason why they tend to be expensive compared to other models. However, you will be able to recover the cost with the savings that you get from your energy bills. You should only go for this model if you live in regions with temperatures that range from 40° F to 90° F.
✓✓ Storage Water Heaters:
These are the common types of water heaters, which are found in most homes and office. They comes with storage tanks where the element keeps heating up the water at all times, even when it is not needed. At the end of it all, you will end up spending a whole lot of money on the energy bills. These are not energy efficient and you should avoid them if you can.
✓ ✓ Solar Water Heaters:
The solar water heaters are also another type and they have a wide range of advantages. You will need to have solar panels installed outdoors, and this will serve as a great alternative to heating the water. The water is preheated before it is taken to the storage tank for heating and this reduces the energy costs by over 50%.
There are two main types of the solar water heaters:
- Passive Water Heaters: These are water heaters that circulate the water in a natural manner. They are less expensive as they do not require any pumps to heat up the water.
- Active Solar Water Heaters: This type comes with pumps that will be responsible for the heat transfer and moving water to the storage tank.
✓✓ Tankless Water Heaters:
Finally, we have the tankless water heater, which has become quite popular in recent years. These will provide hot water on demand as the name implies, they do not have a storage tank. They will conserve a whole lot of energy as the water is heated only when it is needed. They are long-lasting and they tend to stand out from the other models.
Their compact nature makes it easier to install them and mount them on any space available. This is an ideal model that comes with so many advantages that would go a long way in helping you get a continuous supply of hot water and reduce your energy costs.
The importance of Capacity and Size of Tankless Water Heaters:
There is a huge difference between the storage water heater and the tankless models. The storage water tank heaters use the FHR- First-Hour Rating, while the tankless water heaters measure the flow rate using the GPM- Gallons per minute. These are the main aspects that will determine the amount of hot water that you will get in a given period of time.
|Family Members||Peak Demand Output Requirement|
|2 People||45 - 55 Gallons|
|3 People||55 - 65 Gallons|
|4 People||65 - 75 Gallons|
|5 People||75 - 85 Gallons|
|6 People||85 - 100 Gallons|
|7 People||100 or More Gallons|
When you are shopping for a water heater for your home, there are a number of things that you ought to consider with the size and capacity being among the main considerations. The capacity will help you determine if the water heater will be able to serve the needs of your family effectively. The good news with the tankless models is the fact that you will not need the water to be stored so as to serve your family.
The demand for the hot water is also a critical consideration. If you have the storage water heaters, the water will be heated up but after a while it will start cooling down. When you need hot water, it will has to be reheated again, which takes up a whole lot of energy. A professional expert should be able to help you estimate the amount of hot water needed. This will go a long way in determining the amount of hot water required in your home.
The instant hot water shower does not have a storage tank and this is why you need to pay attention to the flow rate and not size of storage. The flow rate is expressed as gallons per minute and will help you tell how much hot water you can get in a given minute.
Some models have a very low flow rate and this would force you to install multiple units to serve different points in your home. You should also not make the assumption that your new heater will work perfectly with the old model that was installed in your home.
Features to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater:
The features of a water heater will determine its capabilities and this why you need to pay keen attention on the features. With so many models on the market, one of the factors that you can use to compare different models is the features that they have. Here are some features to look into when buying water heaters:
- Glass- Lined Walls: One of the things that affect water tanks highly is corrosion, which is caused by elements mixing with water. In order to alleviate this, you need to go for water heaters that have tanks with glass-lined walls. This will give the tank a long life that you need.
- Drain Valves: Essentially, most water heaters will come with drain valves that are either made of brass or plastic. It is advisable to consider valves that are made of brass, as they tend to last longer than the plastic ones.
- Anti-Scale: Get a model that has anti-scale features as this will enhance the longevity of your water heater. Scale tends to reduce the overall lifespan of water heaters and you would not want to end up with a model that does not lost for a long period of time.
- Type of Display: Always consider to go for units that have a digital type of display. This will give you a good view of the settings and the current readings. With a clear display, you will be able to adjust the unit to get optimal performance and conserve energy as required.
Top 5 Factors to Consider choosing the Best Tankless Water Heater:
Besides the features of your water heater, there are other factors that you should put into consideration. This is the only way that you will be able to get the best water heater to serve your needs in the best way possible. Here are some of these critical considerations:
When going out to shop to a water heater, you should have a budget in mind. This will guide you on the various models to consider within your budget range. When making a budget provision, do not just look at the initial cost of the unit, but also the potential savings in the future. By so doing, you will be able to pick the most ideal water heater for your needs.
✓✓ Energy Conservation:
You would definitely want a unit that will help you reduce the energy costs incurred in a given period. With the traditional storage water heaters, the water in the tank is all heated and when it cools down the heating process will commence again. At the end of it all, you will end up using a whole lot of energy as the water is continually heated even when you do not need it.
As such, you need to consider the energy efficiency of the water heater that you intend to buy. You should factor in the amount of energy that each model will consume so as to give you the desired amount of hot water. Tankless water heaters are known to be quite efficient when it comes to the use of energy as they do not have a storage tank and will only heat water on demand.
✓✓ Space Available:
The space that is available for installing your water heater is also an essential factor to consider. If you want the storage tank water heater, you need to have adequate space to have the tank installed. On the other hand, if you have limited space, the tankless water heaters may be the best option to go for.
The overall capacity of your water heater is also important. This can be measured in terms of the storage, for the storage tank water heaters, and GPM for the tankless units. Essentially, this a consideration to determine if the water heater has the capacity to serve the needs of your family.
✓✓ Tank or Tankless Water Heater:
While there are different types of water heaters, the choice narrows down to tankless or tank water heaters:
Tankless Water Heaters: These models do not have a storage tank and will heat up water on demand. They are convenient and can be mounted anywhere due to their compact sizes. They are known to be energy efficient.
Tank Water Heaters: These water heaters have an insulated tank, which stores water. They come with a thermostat that will regulate the temperature of the water. They are common in most households.
You should pick the model that is able to serve the needs of your home adequately.
✓✓ Durability and Warranty:
Everyone wants to invest in a water heater that will last for a very long period of time. One of the things to look out for is the warranty period and what it covers. A good water heater should have a warranty that goes for more than 10 years. The tankless water heaters are quite durable and will last for up to 15 years. Tank water heaters have a high level of wear and tear and this compromises their durability. It is also important to look at the materials used in making your water heater.
As you may have realized, there are so many factors that come into play when buying a water heater. It is our hope that this guide will help you make an informed decision on the specific type of water heater to buy. We highly advocate for the tankless water heaters as they carry quite a number of benefits. If you have found this guide useful, please drop a comment and also share it with friends and family. We wish you luck in your shopping.