It’s not uncommon for homeowners to consider replacing their water heater. But before you go through with the installation, it’s important to know what you might be in for. In this article, we break down five things to consider when purchasing a new water heater.
The first thing to consider is capacity. Capacity refers to how much water the heater can hold and output in one hour, measured in gallons or liters. While bigger isn’t always better, you should try to buy a heater that has enough capacity for three full baths or a load of laundry, whichever you use more. If your heater is too small and it runs out of hot water, you run the risk of not having enough to go around.
2. Energy Efficiency
Water heaters are responsible for heating the water in your home, which takes a lot of energy. That’s why it’s important to consider how efficient the heater is before you buy. Water heaters generally come with an Energy Factor (EF) rating that tells you how efficient the heater is. Generally, the higher the EF, the better an appliance is at converting energy into hot water — great news for your wallet and the environment.
3. Safety Features
Generally, you want to choose a water heater that has safety features that keep your family safe. These could include things like auto-shutoff, pressure release valves, and anti-scald measures.
The type of water heater you choose will have a big impact on performance and efficiency. There are two types of water heaters: storage tank and tankless. Storage tanks store hot water in a tank for later use, with some having enough capacity to last up to 24 hours before needing to reheat the water. Tankless heaters operate by heating water on demand, so they don’t have to store hot water. A tankless heater will produce an endless supply of hot water, but some can only provide hot water to one faucet at a time.
5. Energy Source
Finally, you’ll want to consider the energy source of your new water heater. Gas-fired heaters are the most common, but electric heaters are also an option. Both can provide steady hot water, but gas-powered heaters generally cost less to operate than electric models.
Before you purchase a new water heater, whether in cash or through appliance financing, it’s important to consider all of these five things. Once you know what you’re looking for, the process will be much easier.