If it’s time to change the water heater in your home, there are several things you should keep in mind before you head out to the store and buy one. A water heater is a major home expense, so you should proceed carefully before you swipe your credit card or write a check.
Here’s how to consider a new home water heater.
- Evaluate your usage. Before you head out to buy a heater, you need to determine first what it is you need exactly based on your needs. Are you a single person living in a two- bedroom home or are you a family of five living in a 2400 square foot home? The more people and the bigger the home, the more likely you’ll need a higher tank capacity. It doesn’t make sense to save a few hundred dollars and scrimp on your water heater and buy a small tank when there are a lot of people in the home. If you do, you’ll run out of hot water and have to wait again till your heater is able to heat the tank. This may not be efficient for you time-wise.
- Check the energy efficiency of the product. It’s more important that ever to find something that is energy efficient. Check the energy star label and rating of the product before you buy. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars in heating and energy costs down the line. Heating water takes a tremendous amount of energy, so try to find something that is highly efficient.
- Determine the capacity of the heater. You need to know how much water your household consumes so you can determine what first hour rating (FHR) of the product you need. The FHR refers to the capacity of the water heater to heat the water when the tank is full. If you have a big family with high water consumption, you want a high FHR.
- Consider getting a tankless heater. If you don’t mind making the investment, consider a tankless water heater. This is also called a demand water heater, since it only heats the water as needed, compared to a conventional storage water heater that uses a tank. There is a type that you can directly install right in the bathroom that you plug in an outlet. This type will only heat the water coming out of the faucet that it is connected to. Another version takes the place of a traditional water heater and can bring hot water to any faucet in the home.
- Factor in delivery and installation costs. When you calculate the total cost of your water heater, you shouldn’t just look at the price tag. You must also add in the cost of delivery, installation and the maintenance cost of the product. Also, the energy efficiency of the unit must be factored in, because although some units may cost more upfront, it will virtually pay for itself in a few years through the savings you will get. Estimate the lifespan of the heater so you can get your actual annual cost of use.
Ask around before you buy and do your research. If you do so, you’ll buy the best water heater for your family and home.