What to Know Before Buying a Water Heater in Hampton Roads, VA

technician with clipboard

A water heater is essential in providing your family with cost-effective and reliable hot water. There are various types of water heaters available to choose from when you are looking to install or replace a unit. Here is a list of things you should know when selecting a water heater in Hampton Roads, VA.

Identify the Fuel Source

Identifying the type of fuel you already have will help you choose a water heater that will fit your needs. There are three sources of fuel for water heaters including electric, gas and hybrid.

Electric fuel sources are less expensive in terms of maintenance and installation costs than other sources. They heat water quickly and do not require combustibles or venting. There is a variety of highly efficient electric water heaters on the market.

Gas water heaters use a burner to heat water and have a slightly higher installation cost. Safety measures include venting outdoors, sealing combustion or power venting. They are energy efficient and usually cost less to operate than electric models.

Hybrid or heat pumps take warm air and cold water and use a compressor to move the heat from the air to the water. They are usually larger than the standard gas or electric water heaters and often come with an electric heat element they use as a backup. They are highly energy-efficient.

Water Storage

The common type of water heater stores water in insulated tanks and heats it when required. Tankless water heaters do not store water but heat through coils as they run. Both have their advantages, and it is best to choose the one that fits your needs.

Storage tank water heaters are economical and are usually positioned in the basement or garage. Their efficiency varies depending on the fuel source, models and brand. Their capacity ranges from 20 to 80 gallons of water.

Tankless water heaters hang on walls, and this helps to free up floor space. They are slightly more expensive than water storage and reduce energy consumption significantly. Tankless heaters require proper ventilation and are a good choice for part-time residents.


The tank size is a major consideration since you can identify tanks by the amount of water they hold in gallons. It is essential to calculate the average amount of water your family uses to determine the size of the water tank sufficient for your usage.

Another factor to consider is the number of gallons of the water heater can heat in one hour, otherwise known as recovery water. If you have a higher demand for hot water, then you will require a tank with a higher recovery rate.


You need to consider the amount of space available in your home to store a water heater. There are various options for storage units that may be ideal for your space.

Short units are wider, allowing them to hold the same amount of water as larger units. They are capable of fitting in smaller rooms with limited head rooms like cabinets and crawlspaces. Their length varies between 30 to 49 inches, and they often have a capacity of up to 50 gallons.

Tall units can reach heights of 50 to 76 inches and hold up to 100 gallons of water. They are suitable for garages or basements where there is adequate headroom.

Advanced Technology

Technology features increase the overall efficiency of water heaters. They also enhance their performance and ease of use. Water heaters with energy star certification help save money on utility bills and lower your carbon footprint.

Other technological features include Wi-Fi capabilities that allow remote control and customization of your heating schedule. Some water heaters have an advanced electric gas valve that is more reliable and offer accurate performance and faster hot water recovery.


Water heaters have various accessories that improve the safety and efficiency of the water heater. Timers connect to the unit’s electrical supply to ensure that the heater only draws water at specified times. Water alarms give alerts whenever the heater leaks or overflows.


You should also consider the weather in your local region when buying your water heater. Purchasing a water heater during fall will help increase your comfort as the weather may get a bit chilly.

Climatemakers provides professional AC repair, installation, maintenance, and heating services. We offer 24-hour service for emergencies and provide precise sizing on all new installations. Contact Climatemakers today for all your HVAC maintenance and installation services.

Image provided by iStock