Picking out the best water heater is important. At first it seems like a trivial decision, most people usually just get the cheapest with little concern for options available. Yet there are a plethora of options available to new homeowners and people looking to design their own homes.
Home purchasers should consider 3 things when picking out a water heater:
- Fuel Type
- Water Storage
Knowing the location and the space available in your house is key to picking out a water heater. This may seem like a simple thing to remember, but limited space sometimes hinders the size and type of a water heater significantly.
Traditionally limited to only electric and gas fueled water heaters, the current market has expanded to provide more energy efficient models.
- Electric – is the cheapest but also the least efficient, featuring one or two heating elements and ranges from 40 to 80 gallons.
- Gas – is more expensive, but more efficient than electric heaters, features a burning unit to heat the water and ranges from 30 to 75 gallons.
- Heat Pump or Hybrid – is more expensive than both gas and electric options but lower yearly energy costs, uses air from its surroundings to heat the water and ranges 40-70 gallons.
- Solar – is initially expensive, but like the Heat Pump/Hybrid has lower yearly energy cost, however, it does require a backup system for cloudy days, since it uses sunlight to heat the water, it ranges from 35 to 70 gallons.
As with fuel, there are a several different options regarding water storage in a heater.
- Storage Tank – this is the most common type of water heater and considered the best option. It works with an insulated tank where the water is heated and kept hot until needed. Most fuel types are available with this model of tank.
- Tank-Less/On Demand – unlike the storage tank, which holds water until needed, these units have the water travel through a series of heated elements. Considerably more environmentally efficient than other types since it only heats the water when necessary verses keeping water heated all the time.
Energy Efficient Options
A home with energy efficient options is very popular with the new home purchaser, and developers are beginning to build homes that are green certified. One step home developers are utilizing to decrease energy usage is by installing an energy efficient water heater. All efficient water heaters are measured by an Energy Factor rating (EF), the higher the EF rating, the more efficient the model. These versions tend to be more expensive than other models they are designed to save homeowners money over the long run with lower energy bills.
When building and designing a new home, choosing either a traditional gas water heater or a new energy efficient model is a decision that home purchasers should not take lightly. The quality of their showers depends on it.