As a busy professional in Virginia Beach, VA, your unpredictable schedule keeps you on the go. Between work and social events, the time you have at home is precious, and you don’t want to see it disrupted by a faulty or undersized water heater. Follow these tips to choose the right water heater and keep the hot water flowing at home.
Choose Between Conventional and Tankless
There are two basic types of water heaters: conventional and tankless. Conventional water heaters have a storage tank that heats the water inside and maintains it at a specified temperature. As long as the tank doesn’t run out of water, conventional units provide a supply of hot water that is consistent and readily available.
Tankless water heaters only heat water as needed, providing both energy efficiency and water savings. They are much smaller than the typical conventional unit. Unlike conventional units that have a finite amount of tank storage, tankless units heat the water as it passes through the pipe to provide an endless supply of hot water.
Tankless units cost a bit more and may be more expensive to install. If you are planning to keep your home long term, the energy efficiency and increased life span of a tankless unit may offset the investment cost. Consult a qualified professional for a maintenance visit to discuss which style is right for your home.
Choose the Right Size Water Heater
If you decide on a conventional unit, you need to match the size of the unit to your demand to ensure you don’t run out of hot water. You also don’t want to oversize the unit, as this will lead to excess energy costs. One way to do this is to consider the home’s potential occupants.
A good rule of thumb is to plan for the number of bedrooms in your home plus one, then multiply that by 12 gallons of hot water to determine your tank capacity needs. For example, a 3-bedroom house would be 4 x 12, or 48 gallons. Estimating this way accounts for peak demand times like early morning before work and school.
Consider Water Heater Location
Conventional heaters take up a fair amount of space and are usually located in a basement or utility room. Because of their much smaller size, tankless heaters provide many more location options. Considering the available space in your home may help you with the decision between tankless and conventional water heaters.
Determine Energy Efficiency
Purchase price is only part of the cost equation. You will need to consider energy efficiency to determine the total cost. Choosing a high-efficiency unit means your energy bills will be lower over the life of your water heater.
Choose Your Fuel Type
Many fuel types exist for water heaters. As you consider the fuel type, keep in mind any special requirements by type as well as fuel availability and cost. The primary fuel types and considerations for them are:
- Natural gas: This is widely available and a great option to fuel your water heater. It is reliable, clean-burning and efficient, but it will need venting to the outside of the home. The availability of natural gas makes it an affordable option.
- Liquid propane: It has similar venting requirements as natural gas but also requires a storage tank at your home to hold your propane supply.
- Electric: These water heaters are easier to install and have no venting requirements. Electric heaters are less efficient, though, and may cause higher utility costs.
- Heat pump: These water heaters are an efficient option. They transfer heat from the air or an existing geothermal heat pump system to heat the water in your home.
With all the water heater options on the market, you need a professional who knows the business and will take the time to learn your needs. Call Climatemakers today to find your next water heater. We’ll take the time to understand your needs and recommend a unit that is right for you and your busy home.
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