If it is time to consider water heater replacement, the number of options can feel pretty overwhelming. If you have ever looked at water heaters at a large store, you know that there are many different brands, many different sizes, and other options like different fuel sources, energy ratings and even tankless options. Water heater replacement is an expensive but necessary investment, and you want to make the best choice for your household and your wallet.
Here are some things to consider as you prepare for water heater replacement:
- Fuel source: Electric water heaters are very common because they cost less upfront and don’t require venting, but they are generally not as efficient and can be more expensive to operate over time. Other options include natural gas if lines are available in your area, or propane or oil if you are willing to place a tank outside your home. A newer option is solar-powered, with some hybrid options available as well that can cut your need for fuel by a significant margin.
- Tank or no tank: Tankless models produce quick results, and you will never run out of hot water. They also tend to last longer than tanked varieties. However, they are more expensive.
- Efficiency rating and expected lifespan: These are things that affect the operating cost over time.
- Upfront Cost: Different types of water heaters can vary widely in price. While you want to consider the long-term cost to operate, you may not be able to afford some types when you need water heater replacement.
It is also important to get the right size water heater for your needs. Talk to your plumber about the amount of hot water that is used in your home or business, the frequency of this use, and how many people will be using the space. This will help you get the water heater replacement unit that best suits your needs.