As a homeowner, you no doubt always want to make the best decision for your family. When it comes to purchasing a water heater, it can be difficult to know what factors are important. To help you out, we’ve gathered a few important features to mull over before you purchase a new water heater for your home.
Types of Fuel Sources for Water Heaters: What You Need to Know
As you may be aware, water heaters come in three different heat sources. These include:
- Natural Gas or Propane
- Heat Pump Hybrid
Your natural gas or propane heaters use a burner to generate heat for your tank. Because of this, it’s best not to store any combustible materials in or near the unit. You’ll also need to be mindful of the air circulation in and around your tank, as it makes or breaks the temperature of your water. Other important factors to consider include the size of the tank which is typically anywhere from 30 to 100 gallons, the cost (typically more expensive than electric), and that they are more efficient than electric water heaters.
Electric water heaters are the least expensive tanks available and provide a wide-variety of high-efficiency units. Most electric water heaters include several replaceable heating elements that contribute to the longevity of the unit. After all, the last thing you want is for your water heater to die only a year or two after you make the purchase, and electric water heaters can last up to a decade. These tanks hold anywhere from 30 to 100 gallons.
Heat Pump water heaters, unlike the other two types, use heat from the air to generate a higher temperature in your tank. They are also larger than other tanks and are usually more expensive than electric or natural gas heaters. However, they are more energy efficient and can dramatically cut your electric bill over the long run. Their tanks hold anywhere from 50 to 80 gallons.
Depending on the size of your home, apartment, or condominium, you will need to choose a water heater that fits within your space. If you have a smaller than normal space, then you’ll have to shop accordingly. The good news is there are several compact tanks on the market, but keep in mind you might have to wait longer than you’d like for your water to heat up should you choose a smaller unit.
There are two standard sizes for water heaters—Tall and Short. Self-explanatory, sure, but lowboys or short heaters typically hold more water without taking up as much vertical space. If you plan to put your heater in a crawlspace then opt for a short heater. Tall heaters are ideal for garages or other high-ceiling areas and can hold up to 100 gallons.
Depending on where you live, the size of your home and your energy demands, the right water heater can likely be found at your local home utility store. Use this guide to make the best decision for your family’s needs and hopefully save some money along the way.