There is nothing worse than not having enough hot water to meet your family’s needs, especially when you are constantly running out of it while in the shower. When the time comes for a new water heater installation, it pays to know what different types are available. You will want to choose the one that will be best for your home and your family’s lifestyle.
If your current water heater is still working properly, you may want to consider upgrading even if it does not yet need replaced. A newer version of your existing type of heater can provide you with more hot water and save you money on your utility bills. However, changing to a different type of water heater altogether may save you even more every month.
High-Efficiency Storage Water Heaters
Storage water heaters can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or propane. Depending upon the size of the tank, it may hold between 20 to 80 gallons of water. The water is heated continually while sitting in the tank even when you are not using hot water. The upfront cost for this type of water heater installation is usually less than other varieties. You will usually see at least a 7 percent decrease in your energy costs.
Downsides to this type of water heater are:
- Energy is wasted by this heating method
- Some types of energy are more expensive than others are to run the heater
- Switching from one fuel type to another, i.e. electric to natural gas will involve additional installation costs
- Takes up space wherever it is located
- Tank leaks can cause major damage to your home if not caught early, especially when the water heater is located in an attic
On-Demand/Whole-Home Gas Tankless
If you run out of hot water often, a whole-home gas tankless water heater may be just the right type for your home. With this type of water heater installation, you may be able to reduce the portion of your energy bill related to your water heater by up to 30 percent. This type of water heater takes up much less space and can be installed on the side of your home in some cases. It also may last longer than a traditional storage water heater because you do not have to worry about a tank leaking.
Possible downsides to a tankless water heater are:
- Higher upfront costs; however, you will receive a return on your investment with lower energy bills
- Alterations to your current gas line may need to be made if smaller than 3/4 inch in diameter
- Space is needed to allow for required venting of system
- Requires additional maintenance
Solar Water Heater
A solar water heater installation may be the most cost effective way to heat water for your home because the system takes advantage of a free source of green energy, the sun. This may cut your hot water costs in half. If your roof receives reliable exposure to the sun, this type of water heater installation could be right for you.
- You will need a backup water heater for rainy or cloudy days
- Room is needed for a storage tank
- A much larger upfront investment is required
Additional Considerations for Water Heater Installation
Another consideration when purchasing a water heater is whether to purchase from a home improvement store, your local plumbing supply, or directly from your installer. You may be eligible for rebates from your plumber that will lessen your costs, and you are assured you are getting the correct model for your home.