When you need to replace the water heater in your home, there are a few decisions you need to make. These include the fuel you want to use, the type of water heater and the capacity.
Select the Fuel Source
Typically, it is easier and cheaper to just replace the water heater with a similar model that uses the same fuel source. However, you may want to change the fuel source depending on the type of water heater you buy and potential energy savings.
Heat pump water heaters will pull heat from the air to help heat the water. These tend to be larger and more expensive that regular electric water heaters but can save energy down the line.
Solar is also an option and it will typically pull energy from a panel on the roof. Solar systems can also be used with another fuel source making a hybrid system. This can save up to 80 percent of your energy costs for heating water.
Type of Water Heaters
Most homes have a storage water heater that heats water and stores in until it is needed. These can use any fuel source and the natural gas and propane models are better on energy costs for both operating the unit and the cost of fuel.
Two drawbacks for these types of water heaters are the large size and the wait time for the water to heat if all the available hot water has been used.
Tankless water heaters heat the water as it is needed by passing the cold water over coils or gas burners so hot water is instantly available. These are available in electric, natural gas or Liquid Propane and are more energy efficient than storage tanks. Another advantage to these types of water heaters is their size.
They can fit into a small space, even under a sink. One drawback is they can only supply water at a certain rate, usually up to 5 gallons per minute.
Capacity of the Water Heater
With a storage tank system, you need to determine the maximum amount of hot water needed at any one time. You also need to know the number of gallons the water heater can supply per hour. Your contractor can help you choose the proper size for your family’s needs. If you choose tankless systems, he can advise on the number needed and advantageous locations.
Not sure what water heater works for your Oklahoma City home? Call Hull Plumbing at (405) 246-9763, and get the best advice.