How To Choose The Right Water Heater For Your Home

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When you are choosing a new water heater, the fuel type is one of the most important things that you will need to consider. The fuel type you choose will have an effect on the initial cost of the heater, its energy efficiency, and the space that is required to install the unit. Here is a comparison of the four most common types of water heaters to help you make an informed decision.

Gas Heaters

Gas water heaters are the most common type of heaters in use today. Because of this, they are thought of as the standard for energy efficiency that other types of heaters are compared to. Most gas heaters have an efficiency rating around 0.6, meaning that 60 percent of the energy from the fuel is used to heat water.

Gas heaters are one of the more expensive types of heaters to install. Gas heaters have large, heavy tanks and require one to three feet of ventilation around them, driving up installation costs. Additionally, gas water heaters are somewhat riskier than other types of heaters because of the small risk of gas leaks. For this reason, you should keep all flammable objects away from the location of the heater to minimize the chance of combustion.

Electric Heaters

Most electric heaters have small tanks and are installed in smaller homes or apartments where no more than two people will be using water, but you can also find electric heaters that are designed for larger homes. Large electric heaters are less common than gas heaters because, although they are cheaper to install, they are usually less energy efficient and will cost more to operate.

Before you write off electric heaters due to their lower efficiency, you should consider a few of their key advantages over gas heaters. Electric heaters are less complex and have fewer parts than gas heaters, reducing the chance that something in your heater will break down. For this reason, many electric heaters will continue working for years after a comparable gas heater would need to be replaced. Additionally, many electric heaters have a timer that you can program so that the heater only runs when you need it. Electric heaters with timers will often use an equal or lower amount of energy compared to gas heaters, despite their lower efficiency.

Heat Pump Heaters

Heat pumps are the newest development in water heater technology. Rather than using burners or heating elements to heat air, heat pump water heaters use a compressor and evaporator system to draw in hot air and heat your water. Some heat pump heaters are hybrid systems that use a heating element only during times of high water usage.

Heat pump water heaters are one of the most efficient types of heaters available, using approximately half the energy of an electric water heater of the same size. The primary drawback of a heat pump water heater is that their condenser units make them very loud. Because of this, it is best to install them in a basement, attic, or other room that you rarely occupy.

Solar-Powered Heaters

If you are looking for the greenest water heating solution available, solar water heating may be right for you. Solar water heaters use energy from the sun to heat your water, and are by far the most efficient systems available. Additionally, you will get federal and state tax credits for using a solar water heater in most cases.

Solar water heaters also come with a few drawbacks. They are some of the most complicated and expensive systems to install, and often require a company that specializes in solar water heaters. Additionally, they require backup electrical systems for nights and cloudy days to provide adequate water heating at all times.

As these comparisons show, the type of water heater that you should choose will vary based on your energy efficiency needs and your budget. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a water heater so that you can get the right one for your home.

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27 January 2015

inspecting the roof on your home

When was the last time you really looked at your roof? I had no idea how important yearly inspections of my roof was until I found myself footing the bill for a full roof replacement and interior ceiling replacement. Since then, I have learned how to inspect my own roof twice each year. I always inspect it each spring after the harsh winter elements have gone away and again in the fall before winter weather sets in. You can use the information compiled on my website to inspect the roof on your home and make the small repairs that will save you from full roof replacement.