You’ll want to take time to consider your options when replacing your home’s water heater. A range of water heater styles and features have been developed to meet the different hot water usage needs home owners may have, so there may be something out there that will offer significantly better performance than simply replacing your old water heater with a similar one.
The most significant change has probably been the development of tankless water heaters. Instead of maintaining a constant supply of hot water, tankless water heaters only heat up water when it’s needed. This can offer substantial energy savings for homes that aren’t always occupied or that use hot water infrequently.
Both conventional and tankless water heaters are available as natural gas or electric units. Electric units are generally cheaper to purchase and easier to maintain. They also tend to be more energy efficient. However, electricity generally costs significantly more than natural gas, so they usually cost more to operate over the course of their lifetime.
Speaking of energy efficiency, water heaters are one of the biggest energy users in most homes, so it’s something you’ll want to pay attention to. The efficiency of water heaters is described by their Energy Factor (EF) ratings. The closer the EF rating is to one, the more efficient the unit is.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the dimensions of any potential water heaters and make sure they’ll fit in the installation location. Tankless water heaters can be good for homes with space concerns because they hang from the wall.
Additional features to consider include:
- Self-cleaning. By countering lime and sediment buildup, water heaters can improve their operating lifespan.
- Recovery speed. The faster the recovery speed, the faster conventional water heaters can return to supplying hot water after running out.
- Automatic shut-off valve. This is a safety feature that can shut off the flow of gas if certain problems are detected.
For more help on determining the right water heater for your home, contact us at Around the Clock Heating & Air Conditioning . Since 1967, we’ve been committed to providing quality products and services to Los Angeles area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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