Water Heaters

The Department of Energy recently announced new standards for residential water heater efficiency effective April 16, 2015.  Click here for details of the new DOE water heater energy factor standards.

Before replacing your water heater, there are a number of things you can consider that will impact the green-living profile of your home. Choosing a water heater based on the following can help improve energy efficiency:

  • Number of people living in your home (hot water demand)
  • How well your old unit supplied your demand
  • Fuel type, availability, and cost
  • Estimated energy efficiency of various models
  • Length of warranty
  • Maintenance and repair information
  • Cost of unit as it relates to annual operating cost

Getting the right-sized water heater is important to accommodate your household’s needs. It should deliver hot water when and where you need it, in the most energy-efficient and cost-conscious manner. Depending on the layout and size of your home, more than one water heater may be necessary to effectively supply your demand.  

Types of Water Heaters

Gas models are the most common water heaters in American homes. The tanks hold anywhere between 20 to 80 gallons of water. When you turn on your hot water tap, hot water comes to you from the top of the tank. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank to be heated. Fuel for gas water heaters is either natural gas, propane or heating oil.

Electric water heaters are similar to gas units in the sense of storage capacity, but electric tanks heat water using two electric elements, each with their own thermostat.

Tankless water heaters are still relatively new to homes but are quickly becoming the popular alternative to traditional water heaters. Due to the absence of an actual tank, hot water is supplied on an “as-needed” basis and saves energy by eliminating stand-by heat loss. Some tankless water heaters claim up to 40% in energy savings.

Solar water heaters are powered by energy from the sun and are made up of a storage tank and solar collector. These systems, installed in higher latitudes, may require additional design requirements that will add to their complexity and cost.

Energy Efficiency Considerations. Although gas and electric water heaters don’t appear to be as energy efficient as the solar and tankless options, their efficiencies have improved over time. Spending a little more on an efficient water heater will pay for itself in the long run, especially a unit having an insulation rating of R-16 or higher.

Cost Considerations. The price of a water heater varies based on a number of reasons. Factors like water-line connections, gas lines, as well as access and type of water heater all play a role in the overall cost of a water heater and installation. Contacting a professional plumber for a free in-person evaluation is the best way to check pricing. A “blind” quote over the phone is often inaccurate.

Contact Rescue Rooter® today by calling 866-468-8442 to schedule a no-cost analysis of the benefits and savings of replacing your system