Tips for choosing a new hot water heater

Tips for choosing a new hot water heater

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When you are choosing a replacement or upgrading your water heater, you may wish to consider an energy-efficient unit. These heaters can create hot water while using less energy. There are tankless “on-demand” hot water heaters that only create hot water when you need it, or even more efficient tank models. No matter which way you go, choosing an energy efficient hot water heater can help you save money and the environment.

First check the ratings

EF (energy factor) ratings were established by the U.S. Department of Energy to compare the energy efficiency of various products. The EF scale for water heaters runs from a low of 0.5 for gas storage tank heaters to 2.0 for electric heat pump models. The energy factor (EF) is easy to understand, the higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater unit is.

Types of Water Heaters

Storage Tank Water Heater – Storage tanks are the most common types of water heater. These units have an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it is needed. They are available in electric, liquid propane (LP), and natural gas models. Natural gas and LP water heaters normally use less energy and are less expensive to operate than electric models of the same size.

•Storage tank water heaters are classified by the amount of water they hold in gallons. Tank size is a major consideration. If you intend to use a storage tank water heater, use our chart as a guide to finding the size you need.

•Another consideration for storage tank water heaters is recovery rate the number of gallons of water they can heat in an hour. The greater your demand for hot water, the higher recovery rate you need.

•When you buy a water heater, look at its cited energy efficiency and yearly operating costs. This information can be found on the Energy Guide label.

Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater – Also known as “on demand” water heaters. They do not store hot water; they heat water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. Since the unit only heats water as you use it, a tankless heater is usually more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank water heater. Most tankless units can provide up to 3.5 gallons of heated water per minute. Tankless models are best for homes that use natural gas to heat the water; electric models might require an expensive upgrade of the home’s electrical capacity.

Condensing Water Heater – Condensing water heaters are an option if you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity of more than 55 gallons. These models have a tank like a conventional water heater, but capture exhaust gases that would normally go out the flue, which wastes energy. These gases are blown through a coil in the base of the unit, where incoming cold water can absorb most of the heat.

Solar Water Heaters – A solar water heater typically includes collectors mounted on the roof or in a clear area of the yard, a separate storage tank near the conventional heater in the home, connecting pipe, and a controller. Solar water heaters can reduce the annual fuel cost of supplying hot water to your home by more than half. Throughout the year, the solar system preheats the water before it reaches the conventional water heater. During the summer, it may provide all the required heat.

The type of water heater you choose will also affect your water heating cost. One type of water heater may use a fuel type more efficiently than another type of water heater. If you have any questions about replacing your water heater, give us a call today at (407) 233-3142.

Source

Cuhaj, Joe. How to Choose a Hot Water Heater. http://www.todayshomeowner.com/choosing-a-hot-water-heater/

Bryant, Charles W. How to Choose a New Water Heater. http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-choose-a-water-heater.htm

Consumer Reports. Find the Best Water Heater. March 2016. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-heaters/buying-guide.htm

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