Water Heater Buying Guide and Review for Consumers

Water Heater Buying Guide and Review for Consumers : Water Heater

This Guide on water Heaters will guide you on how to choose and buy the best water heater. Before we learn how to buy the best water heater; we need to understand different types of water heaters available today.

There are mainly three different types of water heaters available in the market:

Storage / Electric-Resistance (Conventional) Water Heaters

These are the most common models of water heater used in most houses around the world. These water heaters heat and store water in an insulated tank and supply hot water whenever needed. They are least expensive and are very easy to install.

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are also known as demand water heaters or instantaneous water heaters. As the name suggests, a tank less water heater do not have any storage tank. Tankless water heaters can use gas or electricity and fuel. These water heaters are further classified as “whole house” or “point of use” water heater. These water heaters are more expensive and have complex installation process.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters include collectors that are mounted at places which get good sunlight such as the roof or the yard. It houses a separate storage tank near the conventional heater in the home, connecting pipe, and a controller. Solar water heaters preheat the water before it reaches the conventional water heater. During the summer, it may provide water hot enough to be used. Solar water heaters reduce your annual hot-water costs by a great extent.

How to Buy Water Heater

  • Most people prefer to buy water heaters based only on the size of the storage tank. While buying a tank-type water heater, one should focus on first-hour rating (FHR). FHR is a measure of how much hot water the heater will deliver during a busy hour. A water heater with a larger tank doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have a higher FHR. When you buy a water heater, estimate your household’s peak-hour demand and look for a unit with an FHR in that range.
  • If you reside in an area where the climate is moderate with relatively low heating loads, you should consider a more efficient heat-pump water heater (HPWH). An HPWH may have a high initial cost, but in the long run it can save up to 50 percent of your water heating bill.
  • When buying gas-fueled or oil-fired water heaters, look for systems with sealed combustion or power venting. This is For needed to avoid back-drafting of combustion gases into the home.
  • Select a water heater with the highest energy factor (EF). EF is the measure of a water heater’s efficiency. EF is based on recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycling losses. The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. Electric-resistance water heaters have an EF ranging from 0.86 to 0.95; gas water heaters have an EF ranging from 0.5 to 0.6, few high-efficiency models have EF of around 0.8; oil water heaters have an EF ranging from 0.7 to 0.85; and heat-pump water heaters have an EF ranging from 1.5 to 2.0.
  • Try to install the water heater in a conditioned area. Also try to shorten the length of the pipes that run to your bathroom and kitchen.
  • Warranties on water heaters vary from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer Always compare the warranties to make sure that you get the best water heater and the best deal and value for your money.

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