Water heaters play an important role in any household and are purchases that are only made every ten to fifteen years. How can you be sure you are choosing the right water heater for your home? Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a new water heater.
Type of Water Heater
There are several options available for your new water heater. In addition to the conventional storage models, which are the most common type, there are also tankless, solar, and electric heat pump water heaters.
Conventional tank water heaters keep a tank full of hot water in your home at all times, anywhere between 20 and 100 gallons of water. When hot water is needed, the water is circulated immediately to the open faucet.A tankless water heater provides hot water on-demand. This saves money and energy, as the tanks are designed to heat water directly. Tankless models are more efficient than conventional water heaters.
Needs of Household
When considering a water heater, there are several criteria to consider in addition to the type of water heater you choose. These factors are:
- Fuel source: Tanks can use electric, natural gas, propane, oil, solar or geothermal power as an energy source to heat the water. Be sure your tank is compatible with your available fuel source.
- Size of home: If you choose a traditional model of water heater, you will want to consider the First Hour Rating, or FHR. This number tells you how much hot water can be provided per hour. For example, a general guideline for a 4-person household is 65-75 gallons.
- Energy efficiency: Paying more for an efficient model will save you money in the long run. Look for the Energy Factor (EF), the number that describes how efficiently a water heater operates. The EF is a number between zero and one; the closer the number is to one, the more efficient the model.
Finally, your budget will likely be one of the biggest factors in your decision. Contact Plumbing Solutions of Idaho today and let us help you find the perfect water heater for your budget.
By Tim Smith
Published: March 13, 2015