Homeowners look for new water heaters for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are tired of paying repair bills, or taking cold showers because there are too many people in the house. You may want to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model to save money or you are building your dream house. If green living appeals to you, you may consider a solar-powered heater. If you love new gadgets, you might be interested in water heaters using the newest technologies. Whatever the reason, you want a new heater that suits both your needs and your budget.
Types of water heaters
There are more choices today than there were just a decade ago. The traditional tank water heater is still a common choice, but tankless heaters are now more efficient than they once were. Other options include solar heaters, hybrid heaters, and condensing gas heaters. The storage-tank heaters are the least expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. Tankless heaters or solar-powered heaters often cost thousands of dollars.
Tank heaters store and heat the water. They are powered by electricity, gas or oil. The tankless variety only heats the water you are using. Solar heaters are a supplement to electric heaters. They use the heat from sunlight to generate hot water while also cutting down on electricity bills. However, solar heaters are best for regions of the country that get a lot of sun exposure throughout the year. Hybrid heaters, also known as electric heat pump heaters, combine a tank with a heat pump, which transfers heat from the surrounding air to the water. Condensing gas heaters work by capturing the heat that moves up the flue.
Choosing the Heater to Buy
The final decision on which heater to buy depends on a number of factors. First, how much do you want to spend on a new water heater? The number of people living in your household also affects the price. Tanks holding 55 or more gallons of water cost more than tanks storing less than 55 gallons. Another consideration is the amount of space you have for your new heater. If you want to use the same location, you need a heater of comparative size. The more energy-efficient models are usually larger, so you need to make certain you have the space to accommodate a larger heater.
In addition, installation of the newest types of heaters or the larger heaters is usually not a do-it-yourself project. You need to hire a professional plumbing contractor to install the appliance, and this adds to the cost. Solar water heaters are attached to the outside of the house, either at the side or back, or on the roof. These also require professional installation.
Where to Buy
For the widest selection of heaters, shop at national chains of appliance stores. Home improvement centers also provide a good selection of heaters. You can even buy a heater online, but the shipping costs will be prohibitive. Shopping on sales days or using coupons also reduces the costs of heaters.
When looking to purchase a new water heater, keep these buying tips in mind.