After years of using your water heater, you may find that it is starting to give you issues, leakage, rusty or discolored water, or reduced capacity to heat overall. If your heater is getting older and you’re wondering how to know which heater would be suitable to meet your needs, you have come to the right place.
Though this article is primarily focused on replacing a heater that is causing problems, you may have found that your current heater does not heat the water to the desired heating temperature. In this case, your heater is likely inadequate to meet your heating requirements, and you need to invest in a larger tank. This could also be a great time to reconsider whether you’d like to use a different heater system.
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is whether you want a tank-style heater or one that is tankless. Depending on your usage, commitment to reducing your carbon footprint, and household capacity demand. If you’re on the market for a residential heater, there are some things you should know that will help guide your decision-making.
What is your budget?
The first thing to know is that a tank storage heater will not last as long as a tankless system. Though some tank systems will do well until year 6 or 8, tankless heaters can last for up to 20 years. This is partly due to tankless-styles not needing to work continuously, and therefore, having a longer lifespan.
Regarding the tankless-style heater, those which use gas as their fuel source last double as long as electric heaters. For this reason, most will operate using natural gas or propane. If you currently have a tank heater and you would like to upsize, remember that you will need space – for the tank, as well as the room to dedicate to a larger venting system.
Is your space limited?
For households that are limited in space, a tankless-style heater may be more appropriate. As lowboys or short water heaters are shorter, wider, and can fit into more awkward spaces, such as under cabinets, space is definitely not an issue for a tankless option. If you need or would still like to pursue a tankless water heater, but your demand exceeds 5 people, an alternative could be to invest in two heaters that could run at the same time.
How large is the household?
If the number of people in your household – and therefore, individuals that could need to use water in a single hour – is less than 5, a tankless water heater could be very suitable for you. However, how households with 5 or more individuals, the water flow would not be able to keep up with this capacity.
There are some guides that you can use to calculate how much water your household will require, based on people living in the house and assessing the average usage of water during peak time. As tankless heaters do not have the storage capacity to draw from, calculating this figure will be crucial to evaluate whether the flow rate – calculated in gallons per minute (GPM) will be able to keep up with your demand. Some fixtures you can appraise during your peak period including your sinks, bathtub, dishwasher, washing machine, and of course, showers.
Are you energy conscious?
For those consumers who are conscious of their carbon footprint, this may greatly influence your decision of suitability. The specialists behind https://www.thinktankhome.com/storage-type/ point out that Electric tankless models frequently achieve an efficiency score of 99%, making them ideal for consumers. Additionally, some companies claim that energy consumption is reduced by up to 30% with tankless models.
Both of the abovementioned figures support tankless models being the energy-wise choice, heating water only when it is needed. The tankless-style does not waste any energy keeping the tank’s stored water hot, as it does with a tank system. Furthermore, when hot water is required with a tankless system, a heat exchanger works is very efficient and works within seconds.
Things to look out for
For tank-storage heaters, looking at the following numbers can help you choose between some recommended appliances and models. Firstly, the energy factor rating indicates how quickly energy is converted when stored, and how much heat is lost during storage. Second is the first-hour rating, which shows you – starting with a full hot tank – how many gallons of hot water your appliance can deliver within a single hour. This figure must be above your maximum household usage, as your heater should be able to cope during high-demand periods.
For tankless options, you should be aware of the recovery rate, or how many gallons of water can be heated per hour. Checking the unit’s performance ahead of purchase can help you select one that suits your needs and one which you won’t regret buying soon after installation.
You may have initially thought that deciding on a water heater was simple, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many intricacies that will inform your decision, and it is advised that you seek professional assistance to guide you.