A Guide to Selecting the Best Water Heater For Your Home
The home is a big investment, and you want the best water heater to meet all of your needs. Water heaters are available in many different sizes and configurations. The best water heater for your home depends on a variety of factors. How much hot water your family needs? What is your typical hot water use per day?
First, you should determine how much hot water you use per day. Some models have a limit on the maximum number of gallons per day, while others can supply as many as 80 gallons per minute. A more economical residential water heater usually stores more water than the more expensive model. More unconventional units come with high capacity ranging from ten to hundreds of gallons. Powered by several sources, including natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, or propane, a more energy efficient water heater uses an electric tankless burner to rapidly heat up the water reaching the faucet.
Tankless water heaters provide a steady supply of hot water without taking up space in your plumbing system. Most models come with a removable or detachable tank, which allows you to refill with more water if needed. There are two types of tankless water heaters: electrically operated and thermally operated. An electric tankless water heater requires no electrical connections and does not demand any kind of special plumbing. These are generally the best water heaters because they are the most energy efficient and they are the most practical.
Thermally operated units require electrical connections so they can be used in colder climates. A thermostatically operated tankless unit only needs a connection to your home’s main water supply. The water is heated up according to your desired temperature and then sent to the faucet. The downside of this type of water heater is that leaks can often be present. When leaks occur, they usually are not very large. In addition, there is not as much control when it comes to controlling the temperature of the water.
If you want to save money, you might choose a unit that utilizes a natural gas or propane fuel source. Natural gas and propane fuel sources are less expensive than electrical heating units. Gas and propane water heaters also give you the option of purchasing a tankless unit that has its own tank to hold the heated water. This allows you to use only half as much heated water as you would with a tank heater.
When choosing between electric and gas models, consider how much heating fuel you will use and whether you will use it at all. Do you plan on using it only occasionally or frequently? If you are going to use it frequently, then perhaps an electrical model would be a good choice. However, if you just want to have a little bit of heat on hand in the winter months, then a gas heater may be a better choice. Also keep in mind that the cost of gas does tend to fluctuate a great deal.
Another thing to consider is how much room you will need for your water heater. There are different sizes available and some can be very cumbersome when it comes to placement. There are also some models which are only suitable for small homes or apartments. So first hour rating is a consideration that should be made before purchasing a unit.
You also want to keep in mind that the efficiency of your heater is determined by how many gallons of fuel the heater uses per each hot water minute. Units with high efficiency rates use the least amount of fuel to maintain a constant temperature. This is important if you have a family that uses a lot of hot water. The unit also determines how long your water will last, since it has a direct effect on how long a tank will hold a certain temperature. Therefore, you should also consider the number of years you plan on using the water heater before making your decision.
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