If you’re looking for a new water heater, keep in mind that your options now go far beyond replacing your current storage tank water heater with one just like it. Since heating water typically consumes 10 to 15 percent of a home’s total monthly energy budget, the best new water heaters focus on heating water efficiently.

Conventional storage water heaters

Storage water heaters are the familiar big tall white cylindrical tanks. There are natural gas, electric, propane heaters for you to choose from and they hold 20 to 120 gallons of water depending on the size of the tank. If you are looking for a conventional water heater, your first decision will be whether to buy an electric or gas water heater. In addition to considering price, check out the yellow Energy Guide label to help you make decisions.

Be sure to check the First Hour Rating (FHR) number as it indicates the amount of hot water the heater can deliver per hour at maximum usage. Also look for the power factor (EF), as it indicates how well the unit can convert its fuel into heat. The higher the EF number, the more efficiently the water heater uses its energy. Electric water heaters tend to have a higher EF than gas units. But while electric units can use their fuel more efficiently, electricity is a much more expensive water-heating fuel than gas in most regions.

Alternatively, you can combine an indirect water heater with a higher efficiency boiler. For an indirect water heater, you will need a separate storage tank. This combination will give you the most economical way to heat your water and help you save money, especially during the winter months. Portable water heaters are good options for adding hot water to buildings, stores, or garages. These heaters are energy efficient and can supply endless hot water on demand without the expense and space of water storage.

Whole House Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as instantaneous water heaters, do not store water. Rather, they heat the water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. While a tankless water heater can provide an unlimited amount of hot water, it can only provide a limited volume. Most tankless units can provide up to 3.5 gallons of hot water per minute. These units are a good option for any home whose demand for hot water does not exceed two points at a time. They are also ideal for families that have small homes and little space for bulky water heaters.

There are propane, natural gas and electric tankless water heaters for you to choose from. Consumers interested in tankless gas heating should verify that the home’s gas lines meet the demands of a whole house gas tankless water heater system and that the ventilation is adequate for this type of heating. water heating. While your gas tankless water heater requires good venting, some units have power vents that allow you to exhaust gases out a side wall; these are ideal for situations where it would be impractical to install a new roof vent. Rinnai, Bosch and other companies make units that can be installed outside the house and therefore do not require ventilation, but they may not be practical in extremely cold climates.

Caveat: Any water heater repairs related to gas connections should be done by your local gas utility company or a licensed and qualified plumber. Work performed on natural gas connections by an untrained and unlicensed person is dangerous and likely to violate local building codes and regulations.

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