A hot water heater takes years to wear out, so you may not think about replacement until it breaks down or stops producing enough heated water. The current market has an overwhelming variety of options that may not have existed when you bought your last water heater. Here are some tips to help you pick the right one.
Available Water Heater Types
There’s no one-size-fits-all “best option” for the type of hot water heater you buy. For instance:
- Traditional tank water heaters are usually cheapest and may be a good choice for large families with consistent hot water demands despite an inefficient reputation.
- Solar water heaters, or a hybrid solar/heat pump, can be amazingly efficient and clean if you can manage the upfront expense.
- Tankless water heaters run off of electricity and natural gas or propane and eliminate standby costs, but with a small sacrifice to hot water availability.
Local Energy Costs
Energy prices vary widely across the country. While “cost per year” tags can help give you some guidance compared to other units with the same fuel type, they may not offer an accurate picture of what you’ll actually pay. Check the costs of natural gas, electricity and propane, if available. Use this to help estimate the true cost of each unit.
Check the GPH (gallons per hour) rating of your prospective hot water heater. Higher demands, such as a large family, require a higher GPH so water doesn’t run cold. Standby heating typically has the highest GPH ratings.
Maintenance and Replacement Costs
Service costs vary tremendously with each type of water heater. Most recommend at least a service call every year, but part prices and technician availability may vary. Know the average lifespan for each unit for an estimate on replacement cost. For instance, a tank costs much less than a tankless hot water heater, but typically only lasts about half as long.
For more information about selecting the right hot water heater for your needs, contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We serve Madison Heights, Royal Oak and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about selecting a new water heater and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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