Finding the best water heater for your family’s hot water needs requires some research. If this is your first time, then the matter is complicated by the range of options available today. There are storage type water heaters, tank-less water heaters, heat pump water heaters and solar water heaters. Each of these has several variations to cater to the specific needs of different users. Before settling for one, you must carefully weigh the pros and cons of each.
Before you can choose the water heater that is just right for your family, you should have at least a basic understanding of the different types available.
- Storage tank water heater: This conventional type of water heater has a storage tank where the water is heated continually. It keeps the water warm throughout the day and night.
- Tank-less water heater: This relatively new type of water heater doesn’t have a storage tank and water is heated when it passes through it. It heats the water only when you need it.
- Heat pump water heater: This type of water heater moves heat from one place to another to heat water. It works like a refrigerator in reverse.
When choosing the right water heater for your family, you should use the following selection criteria:
- Energy efficiency: Water heaters (except the solar types) consume a lot of energy, so you should choose a model that is most efficient in meeting your usage needs. Conventional storage tank water heaters tend to use more energy as they continuously heat and reheat stored water all day long. Tank-less water heaters on the other hand, heat water only when it is needed but use more energy when doing so (the energy savings actually comes when you’re not using it since it doesn’t need to continuously heat stored water). Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy which is free, but they do not work at night, on overcast or rainy days and take much longer to replenish their hot water supply.
- Type of fuel or energy source: When choosing a water heater for your home, the type of fuel or energy source it uses should also be given importance. If gas is cheaper and more easily available in your area, then you should choose a gas water heater. Choosing water heater based on this criterion makes your life easier and also helps you save money in the long term.
- Size or capacity: When buying a water heater, it is very important to consider the amount of hot water your family needs and when you need it. If your family needs a lot of hot water at the same time, then a conventional storage tank water heater is what you need. But if you need only small amounts of hot water or a large amount of hot water but spread throughout the day, then a tank-less water heater serves the purpose and will save you money in the long run.
- Cost of water heaters: For most people, cost is the main factor when choosing a water heater. In addition to the initial cost, you should also calculate the operating cost. For example, installing a solar water heater may cost you quite a bit, but the operating cost is almost zero. Renting is always a great option and is the choice of millions of Canadians across the country.
In summary, the main things you should keep in mind when choosing the best water heater are the amount of hot water you need and the cost-effectiveness of the water heater. It should be large enough to provide you with enough hot water and it should have a low operating cost. The experts at Reliance Home Comfort can assess your needs and determine the best water heater for your home.