Your water heater allows you to enjoy comfortable, hot showers, wash your dirty laundry, do the dishes, and complete various household tasks. It’s easy to take a reliable hot water supply for granted until your heater fails completely or stops working effectively. When you need a new water heater for your South Jersey home, it’s vital to do your research and take into account various factors because this investment impacts how well you function at home and has an impact on your home’s efficiency.
Before making a purchase, you should consider the following factors to ensure you get the right water heater for your home:
- The type of water heater – There are different types of tanks with their own advantages and disadvantages, and you should know what is available to you before deciding.
- The water heater’s fuel type – There are multiple types of energy sources that can fuel your tank, and each fuel type has its own pros and cons.
- The size of the water heater – You don’t want to purchase a water heater that doesn’t have the capacity to meet your household’s needs. The size of your tank is also important as it relates to the space you have available to house the tank.
Types of Water Heaters
When deciding on the right water heater for your home, you should review the different types of water heaters available and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless systems use gas burners or electric elements to heat your water. These systems have increased in popularity as they are energy efficient, save homeowners money, are not bulky, and can easily fit in most spaces. However, the cons are that you can risk having inconsistent water temperatures if you don’t properly size the tank, and they are pretty pricey (in terms of the purchase cost and installation fees).
Traditional Tank (or Storage) Water Heater
Most people are more familiar with traditional water heaters as they’ve been around a long time. This type of water heater has many pros, including being simple in concept, having models that can use different fuel sources, and not requiring hefty upfront costs. However, the cons are that tank heaters have higher operating costs, and they consume energy constantly (even when not in use) to maintain the water temperature.
Solar Water Heater
Different types of solar water heaters fall into two categories: active and passive systems. Regardless of the type of system you have, they share similar parts and features (i.e., solar collectors, storage tanks, etc.). This type of heater saves money on your energy bill (the sun’s energy is free), offsets the initial investment because of how efficient the system is, and decreases your carbon footprint. However, the cons are that you have to seriously consider where you live and your climate as you will rely on the sunlight, and solar water heaters require a substantial initial investment.
Heat Pump Water Heater
Heat pump systems use geothermal energy to draw warmth from the ground to heat the water inside the unit. These water heaters are a great option as they can save you money on your energy bill because they are very energy efficient. However, the cons are that you will have higher initial costs for the purchase and installation, and heat pump systems need a certain climate to work effectively.
Water Heater Fuel Types
Different types of water heaters use different types of fuel and energy sources, and you may have easier access to a certain type of fuel, which can influence your decision. Below are the fuel types and the types of water heaters they work with well.
Also known as propane gas, this type of gas is easily obtainable and can be used with a tankless or storage water heater.
If you have a gas stove or other gas appliances, you may want to purchase a tank water heater as they typically use this type of gas.
If you live in a sunny area or believe that your climate supports having a solar system, you can use solar energy to heat your water.
Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source. After installing a heat pump system underground, heat can be drawn from the Earth’s crust (specifically the rocks and fluids that are several miles below the surface).
Tank, tankless, and heat pump water tanks can employ electricity to heat your home’s water.
What Size Water Heater Do You Need?
To choose the right water heater for your home, you should consider the household’s amount of hot water. You can generally determine the size tank you need by:
- Multiplying the number of people in the home by 12 gallons – Before purchasing a tank for your home, approximate the number of residents by attributing one person per room (and then adding 1).
- Evaluating your water usage habits – If multiple people shower or complete household tasks that require hot water simultaneously, this can impact the size tank you need. Different size tanks have different first-hour ratings (FHR), which is the amount of hot water a tank can produce each hour (when the tank is fully heated). You can review a water heater’s EnergyGuide label to find its FHR. If your maximum water usage is lower than your tank’s FHR, then you are all set.
You should calculate how much water certain tasks require (i.e., 2 gallons per minute for showering, 14 gallons per load for laundry, 6 gallons per cycle for using the dishwasher, 0.5 gallons for shaving, etc.). Let’s say that it is busiest in your home at 7 p.m. While two people shower (for 15 minutes), the laundry is also running, and someone is doing the dishes—this is 80 gallons.
Talk with Our Professionals
If you need help selecting and installing a new water heater in your home, you can trust our professionals to listen carefully to your needs, answer any questions you may have, and efficiently install your new water heater.
At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey, we can help homeowners install a gas or electric water heater. We are dedicated to offering our customers high-quality service, and our plumbers will treat your home as if it were their own.
Need a new water heater? Contact our team to learn more about our water heater installation services and flat-price pricing in South Jersey. Call (855) 982-2028 today.