There’s no other workaround to water heaters than boiling water in a pot on the stove. Luckily, we live in an era where we don’t have to endure the cold season from December to March. According to Lowes, water heaters have around 8 to 12 years. But suppose you have varying water temperatures, unexplained spike in energy costs, a noisy water heater, or smelly and discolored water. In that case, you may need to consider replacing your old water heater.
The winter months have homeowners frantic over making sure they won’t deal with unexpected cold showers in the morning. To ensure ease of access to hot water throughout the cold months, it is a must to equip your home with an efficient working water heater. You may score some tips from technicians who come to your home to provide water heater installation in Chantilly, Virginia, or anywhere in and outside of the state. Water heater experts have the know-how and experience to help homeowners purchase a reliable water heater.
Considerations When Choosing A Water Heater
Highly-efficient water heaters save you time, money, energy, and water. Still, it isn’t cheap to get easy and reliable access to hot water. While you may have cost-cutting strategies like bringing down the temperature to 60 degrees Celsius and installing a water blanket, you also need to analyze water heater energy costs.
How much you spend to get hot water may depend on your energy source to heat the water. Moreover, the energy source is dependent on the cost and availability of sources in your area. Thus, it is wise to consider the fuel source cost when buying a water heater.
Keep in mind that different types of heaters have different energy source needs. These include electricity, natural gas, LG gas or propane, geothermal, and solar energy. In contrast, those in warmer climates may enjoy significant savings with a solar water heater.
Energy Factor Ratings
The U.S. Department of Energy established energy factor (EF) ratings to compare the energy efficiency of certain products like water heaters. The EF rating accounts for cycling loss (loss of heat as water circulates in the unit), standby loss (heat loss per hour storing hot water), and recovery efficiency (of heat applied to the water).
Newer water heaters now boast higher efficiency requirements. For example, electric heat pump models have an EF rating of 2.0, while gas storage tank heaters have a 0.5 EF rating. Thus, buying a more energy-efficient water heater can reduce your electricity bill.
On average, water heater replacement costs roughly USD$1,200, with high-end systems costing at least USD$10,000. The cost of replacing a water heater depends on various factors, such as the type of water heater and installed. When considering installation costs between tank against tankless water heaters, know that the latter can cost anywhere between USD$1,000 and USD$3,500 to install. That said, you may want to check the warranty. When purchasing a new water heater, check the period and coverage of the warranty.
Furthermore, you need to factor in labor costs for water installation. The technician may charge you an hourly rate or a flat rate depending on the type and size of the water heater and its location. If you need major electrical work done, you may hire an electrician, which costs USD$50-$100 per hour.
Moreover, it is best to budget for other costs involved in water heater replacement. These may include removal and disposal of an old water heater, material costs, installation or rerouting of gas or water lines, expansion tank installation, and permit fees.
Size Or Storage Capacity
Consider the number of people in your household who will be using the water heater. It is vital to check the water heater storage capacity is enough for your needs. The right water heater size ensures a steady hot water supply for all the household members to use when they need it. Now, sizing also depends on the type of water heater. You can take note of the following:
- Storage water heater and heat pump water heater – The ‘First Hour Rating’ refers to the gallons of hot water a fully-heated water heater can produce in one hour. Be sure to match this number with the expected peak usage in your home.
- Tankless water heater – It is wise to consult an experienced contractor when estimating the requirements of your household using a tankless heater. Factors included in the calculations are temperature rise and flow rate of all devices using hot water simultaneously.
- Solar pump water – It is also advisable to consult with a contractor experienced in solar heating systems when purchasing this type of pump. The contractor will calculate based on the solar collector, how sunny it is in your area, and storage volume.
Types Of Water Heaters
- An instant water heater heats the water only when the tap is on. Coldwater turns hot as it travels through the heating element inside the water heater.
- The air-water heater generates heat from the air, consuming less electricity.
- A conventional storage-tank water heater is the most common system in households that draws hot water from the top of the tank when the tap is on. As hot water flows, cold water replaces lost water from the bottom of the storage tank. While this tank has low upfront costs, it can consume more electricity as it constantly heats the water.
- A tankless or on-demand water heater heats water sans a tank only when you need it, thereby eliminating energy costs from standby operation. Water travels through a pipe inside the unit and heats it with gas burners or electric heating systems. It is also a great addition in limited spaces as it doesn’t have a bulky tank. Note that this type of tank has a higher purchase and labor cost to install.
- The solar water heater is an energy-efficient way to heat water as it uses energy from the sun. However, installation and the tank itself can be pricey upfront. Further, you may consider the climate in your area as less sunny areas may need an additional supplemental heater.
- A heat pump utilizes electricity to move heat from one place to another. You may also use it in combination with heating and air conditioning systems.
Tank Vs Tankless Water Heater
The advantage of tankless water heaters is that they provide an endless hot water supply without storing heated water. This type of water heater heats water when it is needed. On the other hand, tank water heaters use a thermostat for temperature control. This type of water heater is insulated to keep the water warm.
Your choice of water heater would depend on your needs and budget. It’s best to research and consider the information above to pick the most suitable water heater for your home.