A water heater is used to heat your home’s water supply and transfer it to different fixtures and appliances throughout your home. Buying a new water heater is not as easy as it looks. There are multiple factors that make a water heater best for use. Not only do you need a water heater that is perfect for your water needs, but is also efficient enough to save your money.
Various brands such as Kenmore, Rheem, Vulcan hot water, etc. have been emerging in the market, each one of them claiming to offer better products than the rest.
Different heaters have different fuel requirements, storage tanks, power ratings and whatnot. All this diversity can overwhelm a person and make the choice difficult for him.
Most people are unaware of the technicalities of any home appliance and water heaters are no different. So, to help you choose better for your home, here is a proper guide for anyone who is planning to buy a water heater.
Kinds of Water Heaters
Before going into the technical details, it is important to know the different kinds of water heaters available in the market. Following are the main types of water heaters out there:
- Conventional storage water heaters: offer a storage unit of hot water
- Demand-type water heaters: heat water directly; does not have a storage unit
- Heat pump water heaters: transfer heat instead of generating heat for heating water
- Solar water heaters: use the solar radiation for heating water
- Tank-less coil and indirect water heaters: heat water using the home's space heating system
How to choose?
Following is a list of factors you need to take into consideration while selecting the type of water heart you are going to install in your home:
Different water heaters use different sources of heat to heat the water e.g. solar heaters use solar radiation while others use natural gas or electricity. It is crucial to the monetary savings that you choose a heater that uses the kind of fuel which is readily available in your residential area and is cheaper.
This could drastically reduce the annual cost of operating the water heater that could prove to be a significant source of savings.
You need to estimate the amount of hot water you’ll need for your house and select a water heater that can meet that estimation. Obviously, having a water heater that cannot meet the water requirement is of no use and extra load increases the risk of breakdown.
However, having a water heater that provides more than the required amount is also harmful. It will not only increase the operational costs but also have higher maintenance costs. Therefore, size matters.
The efficiency of any water heater can be estimated by its energy factor. Higher the “energy factor” of the water heater, the greater the heating and storing efficiency it offers. Therefore, choosing the water heater with a higher energy factor will reduce your monthly utility bills. Moreover, some energy factors also qualify for the federal tax rebate, meaning more savings.
Many people only judge a product by its price. But it is important in case of water heaters as for any other home appliance to also estimate the overall operation and maintenance costs. Another thing to consider is the estimated lifespan of the water heater while making a purchase.
Installation and Maintenance
People often overestimate their technical capabilities or more importantly under-estimate the technical complexities of water heaters and try to perform the installation themselves.
Whether it is the Vulcan hot water heater or any other, choosing a professional to do the job is better because the wrong installation can not only cost you more labor and time but can also damage the water heater.