Water Heaters

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Water Heater

The most common type of water heater has an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it’s needed. They’re available in electric, gas models and are typically classified by the amount of water they hold in gallons. The key to choosing the right water heater is knowing what your hot water demands are and planning accordingly.

Water Heater

Traditional water heaters have an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it’s needed. The capacity of the tank will depend on your hot water requirements, obviously you want your entire family to be able to take a hot shower in the morning before it runs out. Another consideration for storage tank water heaters is recovery rate — basically the number of gallons of water that can be heated in an hour. The greater your demand for hot water, the higher recovery rate you need. Choosing the right capacity and recovery rate, while balancing the efficiency and running costs is the key to a happy household with plenty of hot water. With our experience we can help you determine the best water heater for your home.

The following table will give you some idea of what capacity water heater you will need:

Family Size Electric Water Heater Gas Water Heater
5+ 80+ 50+
3-4 50+ 40+
2-3 40+ 40+
1-2 30+ 30+

An alternative to having a traditional water heater with an insulated tank is to have a tankless water heater instead. With a tankless water heater you will have continuous hot water, they are more energy efficient, they typically last longer, and take up less room in your home – see all the benefits of tankless water heaters.

Electric Water Heaters

  • Electric water heaters use one or two replaceable heating elements to heat water.
  • The water heaters themselves are typically less expensive than gas water heaters.
  • The efficiency of electric water heaters does vary and is something to consider when purchasing.
  • Size range: 28 to 100+ gallons.

Gas Water Heaters

  • Gas water heaters use a natural gas burner to heat the water.
  • Have to be installed in location with good air circulation and cannot be located near any combustible materials.
  • The water heaters themselves are typically more expensive than electric water heaters of a similar size.
  • Gas water heaters are often more energy efficient than electric water heaters.
  • Size range: 30 to 100 gallons.

Whichever kind of water heater you plan on purchasing, always look at its cited energy efficiency and yearly operating costs. This information can be found on the EnergyGuide label.

If your space won’t accommodate a standard-size water heater, there are alternatives. They provide the same level of performance and will work with electric or gas systems.

Lowboys or Short
These units are shorter and wider than a normal water heater, allowing them to hold the same amount of water as their larger counterparts while still fitting in areas with limited headroom, such as crawl spaces and under cabinets. Lowboys vary between 30 to 49 inches in height and hold up to 50 gallons of water.

Tall water heaters range from 50 to 76 inches in height and can hold up to 100 gallons of water. They’re ideal for basements or garages where height isn’t an issue.

Good to Know
In order to increase minimum energy-efficiency standards, the Department of Energy has implemented new water heater regulations. The NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act) guidelines are effective as of April 16, 2015. The required dimensions for new water heaters will typically be 2 inches wider in diameter and 2 inches taller than previous heaters. For water heaters in large spaces, it shouldn’t be an issue. But for heaters enclosed in small closets in apartments or condos, you’ll need to be mindful of this change.