The average lifespan of a water heater is anywhere between 8 and 12 years. If your water heater has been providing you with hot showers for almost a decade, chances are it is time to begin shopping around for a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Before you head out to your local home improvement store, it is important to understand which type of water heater you will require, the size and any features that are desirable. Here are a few tips to help you purchase the ideal water heater for your home, needs and budget.
Check the First-Hour Rating
When shopping around for a water heater, chances are the unit's tank size is a huge consideration. It is critical that if you have a large family, you choose a tank that can provide you all with an adequate amount of hot water, especially during peak hours. For most families, the peak hours are in the morning, at night or whenever the family members take their showers.
In addition to choosing a tank size that will meet your family's needs, it is also critical to consider another feature: the first-hour rating. Basically, a water heater's first-hour rating, or FHR, is the amount of hot water your water heater can provide during your home's peak hours. The higher the FHR, the more quickly your family will get the hot water you need.
It is critical to take the tank's size and the FHR into account before you purchase a new water heater.
Know Your Fuel or Energy Source
Another important factor to consider is the fuel source. The fuel source of your current water heater will often dictate which type of water heater you purchase, so it is integral to choose the right unit for your home's set-up. Here are a few of the most common options available, based on the fuel or energy source:
- Natural gas
In addition to these options, you could purchase a unit that runs on solar power.
Learn About the Types of Tanks Available
In addition to the fuel or energy source, it is important to also consider what kind of water heater is the best option for your budget. Most households have a storage tank water heater, which is a metal tank with insulated walls. The hot water is stored until it is needed. These are often the most cost-effective options and will work for anyone with a smaller household and a tight budget.
Another popular option is a tankless, or on-demand, water heater. Instead of storing the water in a tank, the water passes over coils that heat it quickly, allowing you to turn on the faucet and instantly get the water you need. However, be aware that these aren't a good option if you need to use hot water in multiple rooms at one time.
If you're searching for a water heater for your utility shed or garage, a point-of-use water heater is the best choice. These small storage tank heaters will allow you to provide hot water to a single faucet.
Where Will You Install the Heater?
Finally, the location of the heater will also impact the type and size of heater you can purchase. For example, if you have plenty of room and several family members, a standard tall storage tank is a great option. However, if the space is tight, consider a whole-home tankless or a low-boy heater. These are often smaller but ideal if you need to install your heater in a crawlspace.
From the fuel source to the size of your household, there are several factors to keep in mind while you shop for a new water heater. If you have any further questions about choosing the right water heater for your home, don't hesitate to contact Daytona Plumbing.