In the Phoenix area there are many different factors that play into selecting the right water heater for you. When someone’s water heater goes out unexpectedly, they want a new water heater quickly. Usually, they are in too much of a rush to take the time to shop around to look at all the different water heater options available. This is unfortunate as there are quite a few water heater options on the market these days.
TYPES OF WATER HEATERS
Condensing water heater-
These waters heaters are best explained when comparing it to a convectional water heater even though their only similarity is the storage tank. They don’t throw away the hot exhaust and energy like a convectional heater but instead they push the exhaust through a coil at the bottom of the tank. This coil sends the hot exhaust around the incoming cold water which saves almost all the standby heat loss. So this heater improves efficiency by using the heat that would typically be lost. Selecting this water heater is usually about efficiency but the cost needs to be added in as well. Since these water heaters are very efficient, their cost is high, though recently their price has been dropping. These water heaters are the most energy efficient gas water heaters that are available and can save the home owner a lot of money in the long run. Also, the recovery rate is so exceptional that it is almost impossible for you to run out of hot water.
Storage water heaters-
These water heaters are still the most popular water heater in the market today even with all the newer types. Tank style water heaters have storage tanks that are constantly being heated which can waste a lot of energy. Some storage water heaters have better insulated tanks, which can greatly reduce the amount of heat lost, therefore saving energy and costs. Water heaters with more insulation tend to be wider and do not always fit into the existing space where the existing water heater is located. Because these water heaters have internal storage tanks that hold the water, they are size depending on the gallon capacity of the storage tank. These tanks range from 20-100 gallons and can produce anywhere from 35 gallons per hour to 75 gallons of hot water per hour. How to select the right water heater and right size tank will usually depend on the size of the household. A larger household with more occupants and bathrooms would most likely want a larger tank so there isn’t a long wait for more hot water. Storage water heaters can run on natural gas, propane, fuel oil and electricity. Any storage tank water heater that uses gas or fuel will require a flue vent to carry the carbon monoxide in the exhaust to the exterior of the home.
Tankless water heaters or demand heaters-
This type of water heater heats water only when needed; therefore, they don’t waste as much energy as storage tank water heaters. These water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2 to 10 gallons per minute. Tankless water heaters are great if there is not a high demand for hot water all at once. A tankless water heater can provide hours of hot water, but since it heats water as it travels through the unit, it can only heat a certain amount at a time. For example, if you have three or four appliances using hot water at the same time, a tankless water heater will struggle to keep up with that demand and you may only get luke warm water everywhere. However, if you need to fill a large Jacuzzi tub and water isn’t being used in more than one or two locations at the same time, a tankless is great and you will not run out of hot water as you fill the tub. For the people that want an on demand tankless water heater but constantly have hot water on in may locations at a time, they may want to get more than one tankless water heater for different locations. Tankless water heaters are much smaller than storage tank water heaters and fit almost anywhere. This is a huge benefit if there isn’t much space to spare. If the water isn’t going to be constantly on, this type of heater can be around 30% more efficient than a storage tank heater. The initial cost of a tankless heater is higher than a storage water heater, but these heaters have a longer life and will typically have lower energy costs over their lifetime. We do not recommend buying a tankless water heater to save money, as this may or may not happen, but we do recommend a tankless water heater if you frequently run out of hot water and/or need more space.
Heat pump water heaters-
These heaters do not use combustion or electrical resistance to heat water, which can be inefficient processes. This type of heater actually takes the heat from the surrounding air and puts it into the tank to heat the water. Many people have a gas connection just for their water heater but in this case, gas could be eliminated completely, which could be a welcome reduction in your gas bill. Heat pumps can be bought with a tank or be bought separately and added onto a tank. A few cons on this type of heater is that they don’t work too well in cold spaces and work best if they are placed by heat producing appliances such as a furnace. Due to this fact, they take a lot of space and can’t be placed in a closet. These heaters also have high initial costs and can only be installed in locations that stay between 40 and 90 degrees F year round. However, these heaters are great if you live in a warm climate such as the Phoenix area because they have the lowest operating cost of any electric water heater.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING
- What water heater is the most cost effective for your house?
- How much water does your household use?
- Do you have space for a large water heater?
- Are there many hot water appliances in the house?
- Would they be used at the same time?
- What fuel options are available in your area?