Buying a new water heater is an experience most homeowners will face more than once. Mineral accumulation inside the tank is the enemy of traditional storage-tank water heaters. Depending on the mineral content of your local water supply, the average life span of a traditional storage-tank water heater will normally be only 8 to 12 years before replacement is necessary. When it’s time to purchase a new unit, there are some important factors to consider. Here are three questions you’ll need to answer before buying a new water heater for your home:
- What type of fuel will you use? Typically, you’ll replace the old unit with a new one that uses the same type of fuel. In most cases here in Indianapolis, home water heaters are fueled by regular natural gas. However, electric water heaters are also available at low initial cost and, in some rural areas, water that’s heated by propane is used.
- What size do you need? A traditional storage-tank heater should be properly sized in gallon capacity to provide enough hot water for typical household use at all times (so nobody ends up standing in a cold shower!) A qualified plumbing contractor has a more precise calculation to determine exact size. However, generally speaking, a household with one or two occupants needs a capacity of 23 to 36 gallons, while three to four occupants require 36 to 46 gallons.
- Tank or tankless? While traditional storage-tank water heaters still perform basic water-heating functions reliably, tankless heaters now deliver higher performance and lower operating costs. Because a tankless unit heats water on demand, hot water never runs out. Also, it doesn’t keep water that’s stored in a tank hot for extended periods, so costs are reduced. Eliminating the tank also means a longer expected service life and more compact installation.
To make the right choice when buying a new water heater for your home, contact the plumbing professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.