7 Things to Consider When Replacing a Water Heater

When your current water heater nears the end of its lifespan, start shopping for a replacement. Also, when its issues can no longer be repaired or keep coming back, think of investing in a new one. However, carefully consider these factors to ensure you’re making the best decision for your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a critical consideration when carrying out water heater replacement. Most use 400 and 3000 kWh/year. Go for an environmentally friendly unit that enables you to save money in the long run.

Check the energy efficiency label on the unit to make an informed decision. It’s always best to consult an expert. As you will find out, a 100% gas heater will use more energy than an electric one. A tankless or solar-powered heater is a better option.

Size and Capacity

The size of your new unit will directly affect the cost. Choosing the most suitable size and capacity for your needs is critical. A rule of thumb is that a family of four that uses 80 gallons of hot water each day will need a 40 to 50-gallon tank. If you have a smaller household or are more conservative with hot water, you’ll get by with a 30 to 40-gallon tank.

The space you have for setting up the tank is also an important consideration. A larger tank will require more space. Consider a compact unit or a tankless option if you have a small home.

Recovery Rate

The recovery rate is the number of gallons of water your heater can heat in an hour. A higher rate is always better, especially if you have a large household. Gas water heaters have a higher recovery rate than electric ones.

The first-hour rating (FHR) is the number of gallons of hot water your heater can supply during the busiest hour. It depends on the element, burner, and tank capacity. You need an FHR of 80 gallons or more for a large family.

The Cost of Installation and Maintenance

The installation and maintenance costs will depend on the unit’s type, size, and brand. Heaters with a higher first-hour rating and recovery rate will be more expensive to install. Also, those that are easy to maintain, such as the tankless ones, will cost more. Consider the long-term costs when making your decision.

Fuel Type

The fuel type you choose will affect running costs, emissions, and installation costs. Gas is cheaper than electricity, but the initial installation cost is higher. If you have a gas connection in your home, go for a gas water heater. Electric heaters are cheaper to install but are more expensive to operate. Solar-powered water heaters are the best option to reduce the carbon footprint.

The Duration of Installation

Although the exercise seems simple, installing your new water heater will take some time. It depends on whether you choose a tank or tankless heater, the size of the unit, and the ease of access to your home. An electric one will take longer to install as they need a dedicated circuit. Solar-powered heaters will take the longest as they require more time for installation and inspection.

Who Will Carry Out the Installation

Work with a qualified professional for the installation. The warranty will be voided if you carry out the work yourself or use an unqualified installer. You’ll also avoid the risks of electrical and gas leaks and the unit not working correctly. 

In the long term, you have someone to consult whenever you run into issues or need clarification. Check the installer’s qualifications, licensing, and insurance before hiring them.

Make an Informed Decision

Carrying out a water heater replacement is a considerable investment. Use this guide to make an informed decision that will save you money and give you peace of mind. You’ll be glad you made the right choice in the long run.

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