Although many people believe the best way to shop for a new water heater is to look at the price, this is not the only point to consider. The wide range that are available today can make shopping for a water heater a little more complicated than it was just a few years ago. Choosing one by price can actually end up costing you money in the long term. Take a look at some of the main factors that you should consider before making a choice.
Tank or Tankless Water Heater?
Both are a good choice if they meet your needs. The conventional tank water heater used to be the most popular type. Based on the energy factor, which is listed on the yellow tag on the water heater, you may decide this is the best type for your household.
The insulation used to line the tank is another aspect to consider. You should choose at least R-14. Some models use very low insulation such as R-6 and others have as high as R-24. This level will determine how well the water tank holds heat and in addition, higher levels last longer.
The amount of hot water generated per minute is another thing you will want to look at when considering the type of water heater being purchased. They can range from 3 gallons per minute to 15 gallons per minute depending on the type chosen. Tankless models generally provide more hot water, but the amount is based on the ground water temperature in the area in which you live. The warmer the climate, the higher the amount of hot water per minute the appliance can generate.
If you are considering a tankless type, naturally, you will not need to compare insulation levels, but the energy factor should be a consideration. The tankless water heater is also good for saving space since they can be mounted on the wall. The expense of a tankless model may be more at the onset, but energy factors are typically higher, they allow several applications to run at the same time and they last longer than conventional tank water heaters.
Should you Buy an Electric or Gas Water Heater?
One of the things that you should consider is what fuel type is already in your home. Changing from electric to gas can be quite an added expense if a gas line will need to be installed. If choosing an electric water heater, the circuit breaker and wiring will need to be sufficient to handle the unit. Venting will have to be considered for a gas water heater as well. Installation is typically higher for a gas model.
The use of natural gas is preferred by many because they live in areas where the gas prices are more affordable than electric. For others, who may be considering the environment, electric is preferred. An electric water heater does not release carbon into the air. The longevity of an electric water heater is another aspect. Gas units are normally more susceptible to elements that corrode the inside of the tank.
Tax Credits are Available on Certain Water Heaters
The installation of energy efficient residential water heaters can qualify your new water heater for a federal tax credit. Signed into law on December 17, 2010, extended tax credits for water heaters with an energy factor of 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of 90% are eligible for 10% off the cost up to $500. The installation must be in an existing home.
The credit is available for models purchased and installed from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. Therefore, buying a more energy efficient water heater cannot only save on your water heating costs but you can receive a federal tax credit.
What about Warranties?
Most water heating appliances provide a warranty from 6 to 12 years, depending upon the model purchased. Many tankless types have a five-year warranty on the heat exchanger, five years on parts and a year on the labor. The extended warranty is another thing to consider when purchasing.
Some manufacturers offer an extended warranty of four years, for example on a six-year warranty. The cost can be from $200 and up. However, you may be better off just to purchase a water heater with a longer warranty, such as 12 years. This can often be more cost-efficient than paying the extra money for an extended warranty. Read all the fine print when it comes to warranties, because you may be surprised what they do not cover.
There are many things to consider when purchasing a new water heater. The list is quite extensive. By covering the most popular aspects, the hope is that you will be better informed when it comes to purchasing the water heater that will provide maximum benefits for your home. You can find other healful reviews on WaterHeaterReviewer.