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How to Choose the Right Water Heater

 

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If you’re shopping for a new water heater, you may have already been to the home improvement store and seen the numerous options available.  Water heaters have many options, and it can be difficult to know you’re making the correct decision.  The first thing you should probably consider is how your water heater will be powered.  This is going to be determined based on how your home is set up.  Whether you have gas or electric, you still have several other basic options to consider:

Conventional or Tankless – Conventional heaters store the water in a tank until it is used.  You always have a supply of hot water on hand.  Tankless systems heat the water as it is used.  They can be set up for an entire house or for point-of-use.  These can cut down on energy costs because you only pay to heat the water that is actually used.

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Size – It’s important to get a heater that’s the correct size for your home and your family.  You’ll waste energy costs on one that’s too big, and run out of water if you choose one that’s too small.  Storage water heaters are sized by how many gallons they hold, whereas tankless water heaters are sized based on their flow rate.  How big of a water heater you need depends on how many people you have in your home as well as how many appliances you might use at the same time.  If you aren’t sure what size you need, call A&W Plumbing.

Space – Where is your water heater going to go?  You need to make sure there is plenty of room for the new unit.  Even if you are buying a storage water heater that holds the same number of gallons as the old one, it could have larger outer dimensions due to extra insulation.  If your new heater won’t fit in the old space, you may need to have new water lines run.  Tankless water heaters should be placed on an exterior wall, with water and gas or electric lines nearby.  This will make it easier for the unit to be vented.

Installation – Some people may be comfortable with installing their own water heater, but there are benefits to having a professional do the installation for you.  First, water heaters are heavy!  Hiring a plumber means you don’t have to haul that new heater down to the basement or drag the old one out.  Also, using a professional guarantees a correct installation, so you won’t have to risk a cold shower.  Your plumber can also give you recommendations on maintaining your water heater to maximize its lifespan.

Whether your current water heater has stopped working or you are simply looking for an upgrade, it’s important to consider all of the above factors when making your new purchase.  Each household has different requirements, so you need to make the choice that’s right for yours.  When you’re ready to get a new water heater, just call A&W Plumbing.