According to water heaters Consumer Reports, water heating accounts for up to 20 percent of a home’s energy bill. With the newest water heaters that hold less than 55 gallons of water, you can expect to see a modest energy savings of around 4 percent. With a larger (over 55 gallon) water heater, it is possible to save from 25 to 50 percent in energy costs, depending on the model’s technology.
Some of us are fastidious about home maintenance, while others of us are a bit more lax about it. It is easy to overlook and take for granted one of the workhorses of your home system, the humble but indispensable water heater. Maybe the 15 or so years since its installation seems like just yesterday, but if the warranty was 12 years and you are up to year 15, you may be “pushing your luck,” as the saying goes. If you live in a home that has hard water, your water heater can sometimes fail before its warranty is up since the minerals in hard water can be tough on it.
Deciding on Capacity
Think about size (or more correctly) capacity. The correct size for you will depend on how many people are living in your home, how often everyone showers, how much laundry you do and how often the dishwasher runs. The thing to look at carefully is the first-hour rating on water heaters with tanks and the gallons-per-minute rating for tankless models. Those are the figures that tell you how much water the heater can deliver over a set period of time (i.e., one hour). Ask a professional for help in deciding what capacity will work best for your family’s lifestyle needs.
Deciding on Type
The type of fuel you used (gas, oil or electricity) along with the amount of water you use on average will help you determine the best type of water heater, a water heater with a tank, a tankless (also known as “on demand”) model or a heat pump (hybrid) style.
A water heater with a storage tank is the most commonly used water heater. They consist of an insulated tank that heats and stores a certain amount of water, measured in gallons. Natural gas water heaters usually use less energy than their electric counterparts, but the natural gas models are more expensive up-front.
As you might imagine, a tankless water heater works quite differently. Rather than storing water, it simply heats the water as you call on it. A tankless water heater is a good choice for people who do not mind holding off on turning on the dishwasher until they finish taking a shower.
A heat pump water heater works in an entirely different way from either of the other two types. It “captures” heat from the air and uses it to heat the water. These can get a bit complicated since they need to be placed in an area that is within a specific temperature range — not lower than 40 degrees and not higher than 90 degrees. It also needs from 7 to 9 feet of clearance from floor to ceiling to accommodate the heat pump which sits on top of the unit.
Warranties are important. You can buy water heaters whose warranties are for as few as three years or as many as 12 years. Buying a water heater with the longest warranty, you can afford usually means you are buying a higher quality model, better performing model.
Anti-scale devices are a relatively new offering on some models and are supposed to be good for homes which have hard water. They claim to reduce the amount of scale that builds up at the bottom of the tank. You can now buy tankless (on-demand) water heaters with glass tanks, to cut down on corrosion. Digital displays are another nice feature which helps you monitor levels and even customize performance.
We love water heaters Consumer Reports for the information they provide home and business owners looking for a replacement water heater. Once you have read water heaters Consumer Reports, visit Waterheaters.com for the best selection and rapid delivery. For information and help selecting a new water heater for your metro New York area home or business, contact Waterheaters.com today.