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What Type of Water Heater is Best for My Home?

August 19, 2022

Hot water is essential for modern homes, and water heaters provide the supply home occupants use for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. When a water heater wears out, homeowners want to know which replacement unit is best for their home. Answering that question isn’t always easy, as the number of people in the household and the cost of energy have direct impacts when deciding which water heater to buy. In most cases, discussing the problem with your plumber is strongly recommended, as plumbing experts offer insights that homeowners may not otherwise consider. 

What Type of Water Heater is Best for My Home?

When making such an important decision, homeowners must first understand the basic types of water heaters commonly installed in area homes. Once that information is grasped, property owners better comprehend the logic behind a plumber’s recommendations. Here are a few options owners can consider.

  • Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters. These water heaters have been the go-to solution for property owners for years, and they may still be the best choice in some situations. Conventional storage tank water heaters generally heat water using either gas or electricity. Oil is used as a fuel in some areas, but it’s less common than the other options. The disadvantage of these units is their need to keep a large tank of water hot all the time, even when no one is using hot water.
  • Tankless Water Heaters. As the name implies, these water heaters don’t store hot water. Rather, they heat water as it’s needed. These systems have been used in other parts of the world for years but only went mainstream in the U.S. a few years ago. Tankless systems are also fueled either by gas or electricity, but gas is more common and energy efficient. The downside is that tankless water heaters cost more upfront, but that cost is recovered over time.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters. These are also relatively new but are quickly gaining traction as a great way to heat water. Heat pumps function by pulling the heat out of the surrounding air and using that heat to produce hot water. Heat pump water heaters are very efficient, but they also have a couple of drawbacks to consider. First, they need a source of air to work, so they can’t be installed in small, out-of-the-way unvented closets. Next, they’re also quite expensive initially. However, as with tankless water heaters, the extra cost is recovered over time.
  • Solar Water Heaters. These are the most energy-efficient water heaters available, but the system and installation can be costly. In addition, most experts recommend a backup source of hot water to cover the times when solar energy alone isn’t sufficient to meet a family’s needs.

These are the most popular options currently, and plumbing professionals work with homeowners to compare them before deciding which one to select. When cost is the major consideration, conventional storage tank water heaters are the best option, but most experts agree that investing in one of the other options is more appropriate when keeping the initial cost to an absolute minimum isn’t the primary concern. 

Consider A Hot Water Recirculation System

Many of today’s homes have water heaters far from fixtures and appliances using the supplied hot water. That means a lot of water is wasted waiting for hot water to reach its destination. Recirculation systems eliminate that issue by constantly recirculating the supply to keep it hot. If the length of hot water supply lines is longer, discuss the benefits and costs involved when installing a recirculation system. 

Call Ethical Plumbing for Water Heater Installation

When it’s time to install a new water heater, we’re here to help. The Ethical Plumbing team will gladly review your hot water needs and recommend the best solution to meet those needs. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.