Water heating system is an essential installation in nearly all of the houses in the United States. This system help households have useable and tap water all throughout the year. When it comes to machines or mechanisms that involve heat, there is a tendency of eventual breakdown and the need for replacement.
Most homeowners wait until their water heaters fail before shopping or searching online for replacements. This is not a recommended practice because it doesn’t allow homeowners more to time shop and select the most appropriate and energy-efficient unit because of the immediate need of replacing the household water heater.
To avoid this practice, homeowners should already do some research on water heaters as early as now or when the heating system experiences its first breakdown and repair. This way, you can make good choices for a replacement water heater. According to https://watertechadvice.com/best-tankless-gas-reviews/, even the top tankless water heaters differ from each other in some way. There are many things to look for in a water heating system, but knowing the bare essentials can already help you make wise buying decisions.
Look for the Demand Capacity
Some buyers will base their purchase on the size of the storage tank, but it is actually the peak hour demand capacity, also known as first hour rating (FHR) on the Energy Guide label. FHR is a measure of how much hot water the water heater can deliver during a busy hour. It is important that you calculate the peak hour demand of your household and look for a unit with an FHR that corresponds to the calculation. For example, a typical 3 bedrooms 2 bath house may have a minimum requirement of 67 gallons peak hour demand and thus needs a water heater with an FHR of 67 to 70 gallons.
Look for the Energy Factor
After you have determined the type of water heater system by capacity, you must next determine the fuel efficiency of the unit. The Energy Factor (EF) is the best indicator of a heater’s efficiency. This factor is based on recovery efficiency (efficiency of heat transfer from the energy source to the water), standby losses (percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water) and cycling losses (loss of heat as water circulates through the tank and pipes).
The higher the EF, the more fuel efficient is the water heater. Electric resistance water heaters have an EF of 0.7 to 0.95. Gas heaters have an EF of 0.5 and 0.6, with some high-efficiency models having around 0.8 EF. Oil heaters range from 0.7 to 0.85 EF. Heat pump water heaters range from 1.5 to 2.0 EF. The primary information on a water heater’s fuel efficiency is available from the product literature provided by the manufacturer. Another fuel efficiency feature to look for is the thickness of the foam insulation (at least 1.5 in or 3.8 cm) and energy efficiency ratings shown on the Energy Guide labels.
Look for Cost Efficiency
Consumers mostly consider cost as an important factor when making a purchase. Cost here includes purchase price, lifetime maintenance and operation expenses. Life cycle cost is also one of the things a wise buyer should consider, as it analyzes the total of all costs and benefits associated with a purchase during its estimated lifetime. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) gives free general and technical information to the public on a wide spectrum of topics and technologies pertaining to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which includes information on conducting life-cycle cost analyses.
Also consider the warranties of the water heating systems. Units with longer warranties usually cost higher. On another note, cheaper water heaters usually have high operating costs.
Now that you know the basic things to look for in your next water heater purchase, you can plan ahead on what is the most suitable replacement you can install. Another important thing to consider is the warranty in your current water heater. If it is still under warranty, you can still save on costs by having the unit replaced by the manufacturer. And if a purchase is indeed necessary, you’ll thank yourself for planning things far ahead and making that wise buying decision.