Choosing a hot water heater for your home
If you are looking for a new water heater, keep in mind that your options now go far beyond replacing your current storage tank water heater with a matching one. Since heating water typically consumes about 10 to 15 percent of a home’s total monthly energy budget, the best new water heaters focus on heating water efficiently.
Conventional storage water heaters
Storage water heaters are the familiar large white tall cylindrical tanks. There are natural gas, electric and propane heaters for you to choose from and they store 20 to 120 gallons of water, depending on the size of the tank. If you are looking for a conventional water heater, your first decision will be whether to buy an electric or gas water heater. In addition to considering price, check the yellow label on the Energy Guide to help you make decisions.
Be sure to check the First Hour Rating Number (FHR) as it indicates how much hot water the heater can supply per hour at peak usage. Also look at the energy factor (EF) as it indicates how well the unit can convert its fuel into heat. The higher the EF number, the more efficiently the water heater will use its energy. Electric water heaters tend to have a higher EF than gas units. But while electric units can use their fuel more efficiently, electricity is a much more expensive water heating fuel than gas in most regions.
Alternatively, you can combine an indirect water heater with a higher efficiency boiler. For an indirect water heater, you will need a separate storage tank. This combination will give you the most economical way to heat your water and will help you save money, especially during the winter months. Portable water heaters are good options for adding hot water to buildings, shops, or garages. These heaters are energy efficient and can supply unlimited hot water on demand without the expense and space of water storage.
Whole House Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also known as instant water heaters, do not store water. Rather, they heat the water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. While a tankless water heater can provide an unlimited amount of hot water, it can only provide a limited volume. Most tankless units can provide up to 3.5 gallons of hot water per minute. These units are a good option for any home whose demand for hot water does not exceed two points at a time. They are also ideal for families who have small houses and little space for bulky water heaters.
There are propane, natural gas, and tankless electric water heaters you can choose from. Consumers interested in gas tankless heating should verify that home gas lines meet the demands of a whole house tankless gas water heater system and that ventilation is adequate for this type of heating. Water. Although the tankless gas water heater requires good ventilation, some units have electric vents that allow you to exhaust gases through a side wall; These are ideal for situations where it would not be practical to install a new roof vent. Rinnai, Bosch, and other companies make units that can be installed outside the home and therefore require no ventilation, but may not be practical in extremely cold climates.
Warning: Any water heater repair related to gas connections should be done by the local gas utility company or a qualified and licensed plumber. Work done on natural gas connections by an untrained and unlicensed person is dangerous and likely in violation of local regulations and building codes.