If the time is approaching to replace your hot water heater, don't make the mistake of simply purchasing the type of heater you had before. Answering the following questions can ensure you get the best unit for your needs.
What type of water heater should you choose?
There are many options when it comes to water heaters, but for most homeowners the choice boils down to a tank or tankless model. The vast majority of homes are equipped with tank models, so this is likely what you are most familiar with. A tank model holds hot water in a heated state until it is needed. Once the tank is emptied, it can take some time for it to refill. A tankless model heats water on demand, or as it is needed. This tend to use less energy and can provide the convenience of nearly instant hot water.
How big of a water heater do you need?
Size depends on the water heater type and your household's water usage. For tankless heaters, you generally need one unit per floor or major wing of your home. For tank models, you can use the size of your family to estimate the necessary unit size. For example, 30 gallon tanks are typically recommended for couples, while a small family of three or four will need a 40 or 50 gallon tank.
Where is the best location for a water heater?
The best location is one that is out of the way, close to the power source and water lines, and relatively impervious to water damage, particularly if you opt for a tank model. Garages and basements with concrete floors and integrated drains are often chosen for tank heaters simply because if the tank ruptures, water damage will be minimal. For tankless heaters, proximity to the area where hot water is most often needed determines location. Tankless heaters are often placed in closets or beneath the sink in the kitchen or bathroom. Since they take up minimal space, they can be placed nearly anywhere.
Is it possible to change fuel types with a new heater?
It's much easier to transition to an electric hot water heater from a gas heater than vice versa in homes that are not already using gas for other appliances. This is simply because most homes are already wired for electricity but not all homes are plumbed for natural gas. If you do have an option of fuel and power types, then it makes sense to compare unit costs and energy usage across all fuel type models before making your purchase choice.
Contact a water heater installation service for more help.