March 5, 2018

How To Choose The Right Water Heater: 3 Key Criteria

You’ve just moved into a new home, and you’re looking to purchase a water heater. You know that a water heater is a pretty hefty investment, but you’re unsure as to what factors make that investment worthwhile. You want a water heater that fits your budget, your fuel sources, and your overall home. There are three important criteria to keep in mind when looking to find your perfect water heater.

Energy Efficiency/Cost

We’ve lumped these together because the cost of running your system goes hand in hand with its energy efficiency. Your instinct might be to jump at the least expensive water heater you find, but that’s not always your best bet. Keep in mind that your water heater is a long-term investment. Being a little generous with your initial purchase is going to save you from frequent repair bills down the road or pre-mature replacement.
Different types of water heaters are going to run more efficiently on different fuels. For example, electricity is commonly used to fuel storage water heaters, but you might find your storage heater functions more efficiently with natural gas. Check out local rates for different fuel types, and do some research on which model goes best with which fuel.

Fuel Type

Before deciding on a specific type of water heater, you need to know what type of fuel it takes, and how available/expensive that fuel is in your area. Here are the most common types of fuels used in water heater service:

  • Electric
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Propane
  • Solar Energy
  • Geothermal energy – Geothermal and solar energy are not necessarily “fuels.” These environmentally friendly systems run on earth-generated power.

Most of these power sources are offered throughout the United States, but costs and rates vary. If you are purchasing a water heater for the first time, compare local fuel costs against water heater types. If you’re looking into water heater replacement, consider switching fuel sources for potentially lower utility bills.

Heat Coverage

How many bathrooms and sinks do you have in your home? If you’re leaning towards a small, barely-there system in a house that has several bathrooms, you won’t have enough hot water. Similarly, large systems are inappropriate for smaller homes that have fewer bathrooms and sinks. Think about this sizing when deciding on which type of water heater to purchase.

Conventional storage – Uses a large reservoir of hot water storage. Larger tank provides greater heat coverage, but it also takes up more space in your home

Tankless – Heats water directly, only produces hot water as needed, very energy efficient but initial cost is high

Heat pumps – Uses electricity to move heat, as opposed to generating it, low operating costs

Solar – Energy efficient, has a hard time functioning on cloudy days

Tankless Coil – requires storage tank, uses a furnace to heat circulating water

If you live in a small home with only a few rooms, you probably won’t need a storage heater or an entire solar heating system. If you have many rooms you need to provide heat for, look into a bigger system that uses more power.
Choosing a water heater doesn’t have to involve studying the specific mechanisms behind the machine. All you want to do is save money and provide your home with sufficient heat. Keeping these 3 factors in mind helps you to narrow down your options until you find the right water heater for your home.
For more information on finding the best water heater for your home, call 610-431-1616 (Chester County, PA) 610-565-9999 (Delaware County, PA) 610-879-0511 (Montgomery County) or click here to speak with an expert HVAC technician at MoreVent Heating, Air Conditioning And Plumbing.

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