If you are in the market for a new water heater this winter, here are four things that you should take into consideration when shopping around for that new water heater.
One of the most important decisions you can make is what type of fuel you want to use to heat up your water heater. There are six different types of fuel options that you can use. The type of fuel that you choose will directly relate to the long-term energy costs associated with using your water heater. You should choose a fuel source that is supposed to be affordable in the long-term in your area.
Your six choices include electricity, fuel oil, geothermal energy, natural gas, propane, and solar energy. The choices that are most readily available no matter where you live are electricity and solar energy. The availability of fuel oil, natural gas and propane can vary more in affordability and access from one region of the United States to the next. Geothermal energy works best if you already have a geothermal heat pump system set up in your home or if you are building your home and can install one during the building process.
Next, you need to take into consideration the size of your family and your hot water needs. If you don't need a lot of hot water, you may want to set-up a tankless or demand based water heater. These types of systems can work well in homes where multiple tankless water heaters are set-up in each bathroom and for the kitchen when demand for water is higher.
For more conventional water heaters, you are going to need a tank that is large enough to provide your family with all the water hot that it needs. Generally, the more people you have living in your house, the large capacity water heater you are going to need.
You also need to take the cost into consideration. To start with, you need to determine what you can afford to pay up-front for a new water heater. Keep in mind that many appliance stores will allow you to pay with a store credit card or offer short financing terms, such as a year or six months that you can take advantage of. Then, you need to think about the long-term costs that come with taking care of the system. For example, a solar powered hot-water heater may cost more upfront, but in the long run, you will not have to pay additional energy costs associated with your hot water heaters use.
Finally, you need to take into consideration how energy-efficient the unit you purchase is. If you want a unit that is energy efficient by today's standards, try to purchase one that has the Energy Star certified logo on it. It is a good idea to purchase a new unit that meets today's energy efficient standards because your unit is going to last for a decade or two, and energy efficiency standards are always improving. By purchasing a unit that is energy star approved, your unit will not be out of date energy efficiency wise as soon as a unit that does not meet these standards. When you take into consideration that your new water heater could be with you for the next decade or two, it makes sense to purchase one that will save you as much energy as possible.
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