If you are planning to purchase a new water heater for your home, the first thing you need to figure out is if the equipment you choose is capable of providing you sufficient hot water. Next, you should consider if it is energy efficient so that while you enjoy hot water every time you need it, you also save money along the way.
Based on those factors, you now have the idea that finding the right water heater for home use is not as easy as picking one out a brochure or website display. You must particularly understand the different types and be able to figure out the right size for your needs as well as the fuel source.
Anyway, it is best that you know what you are dealing with in terms of energy consumption. This “infographic” from Energy.gov provides all the things you need to know in beautiful artwork:
To give you a short yet crisp understanding on your water heater options, I’ll try to define each one of them as brief as possible.
1 – The conventional storage water heater is still the most widely used today, having a storage tank containing hot water.
2 – The tank-less or demand type water heater meanwhile was invented to oppose the very concept of the conventional type since it no longer has a storage tank and will instead heat water directly when needed.
3 – The third type is called the heat pump water heater that works by moving heat from one place to another to provide hot water instead of producing heat directly.
4 – The solar water heater on the other hand, as the term suggests, utilizes the heat of the sun to produce hot water.
5 – There are also what we call as tank-less coil and indirect water heaters that require your home’s space heating equipment to heat water.
But how do you really determine which type of water heater is right for your needs? This is where the different factors come in. I found this great post from Joe Cuhaj from Today’s Homeowner titled “How to Choose a Hot Water Heater” talking about those things you should be thinking about when you’re in the process of finding the perfect hot water heater.
Factors in Choosing a Hot Water Heater
So which type of water heater is right for your home? There are several factors to consider including the price of the system and installation, the cost and availability of energy sources, the energy factor (EF) rating of the water heater, and whether the system meets new water heater regulations.
EF ratings were established by the U.S. Department of Energy to compare the energy efficiency of various products. The EF scale for water heaters runs from a low of 0.5 for gas storage tank heaters to 2.0 for electric heat pump models. The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. The EF number takes into account:
Recovery Efficiency: How efficiently the heat is applied to the water.
Standby Loss: The percentage of heat loss per hour of the stored water.
Cycling Loss: The loss of heat as the water circulates through the unit.
On April 16, 2015, new water heater efficiency regulations went into effect under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). All new water heaters must meet new, higher efficiency requirements. The benefit is that any new water heater will be more energy-efficient, saving you money.
Should you wish to read the article, just click here.
I should admit though that not everyone can understand the terms used in the information above; which is why I strongly recommend that you go and seek the assistance of a water heater or plumbing expert to enlighten you. There’s no shame in asking since not every homeowner has the interest or knowledge in things like water heater and plumbing specifications.