So what matters when shopping for a water heater? Here are some water heater basics that will help you ask smart questions to narrow your field of options.
Water heater type There are three broad categories of water heating appliances:
Conventional (or Storage) water heaters, which store hot water in a tank until it’s needed for use;
Tankless water heaters, where water is heated instantly on demand; and
Indirect water heaters, which use your home heating system to warm water.
Conventional water heaters cost less up front but are less efficient than tankless heaters, so your monthly bills will be higher.
Tankless heaters are extremely efficient, offer unlimited hot water on demand, and are much smaller, which means you have more options for placement. They do cost more than conventional water heaters (in many cases double or more), but they will also last longer (about 18 years on average, compared to 10-12 for conventional water heaters).
Indirect water heaters can also be extremely efficient – especially during heating season – but they require integration with your home heating system, so installation is more costly than conventional and tankless water heaters.
To discuss what type of water heating system is best for you, contact us.
Size – You need enough heating capacity to meet your family’s need for hot water, but not so much that you’re heating water you won’t use. Right-sizing a water heater can get tricky without help from experienced professionals.