When you buy a hot water heater, there are several factors to consider. Fuel, size, energy efficiency and cost are all important to consider when purchasing a new unit. Many newer models are designed to save you money in the long term, but cost much more at purchase. You have to gauge what you’re in the market for, as well as what your house has space for.
The first thing to determine with your water heater options is what kind of fuel your new heater will use, which will largely depend on how your home is powered. Conventional heaters are fueled by electricity or gas power, which are still the most common fuel sources. However, you could also use natural gas, geothermal energy or solar power to run your water heater. But the easiest option is a conventional power source, such as electricity, gas or propane.
Second, you want to determine what type of heater you’re buying, regardless of how it’s powered. Conventional heaters store water in a tank, allowing hot water on demand. Tankless systems don’t store water ahead of time, but heat the water when it’s needed. Here’s a helpful infographic that presents the strengths and weaknesses of both types.
One thing to remember when buying your new water heater is capacity. Make sure to take measurements of the space you plan to install your new water heater. Keep the size of your current unit in mind when shopping.
These aren’t all of the factors you’ll have to consider, but fuel, type and capacity are the most important ones when buying a new water heater. Once you determine which is best for you, then you can begin to have the conversation about budget, cost and warranty.