Secrets to Choosing a New Hot Water Heater

You can’t just walk into your local home center and pick the cheapest water heater from the display. There are a number of crucial considerations to balance when making a buying decision for this essential piece of home equipment.

With the cost of natural gas and electricity on the rise, picking an energy efficient hot water heater is probably at the top of you list. The Energy Guide label on the side of the tank will help you determine the overall efficiency of the unit and give you some clues for picking the best unit for your home.

Determining The Capacity Required

The Energy Guide label on a hot water heater will tell you the First-Hour Rating (FHR) for the unit. This figure is more important than the tank capacity for determining whether a particular hot water heater will meet your needs.

FHR is a measure of how much hot water the heater will deliver during a busy hour. Before you head to the home center, estimate your household’s peak hour hot water demand and look for a unit with an FHR in that range.

Gas water heaters will have a higher FHR compared to an electric heater with the same sized tank.

How Efficient Is It?

The Energy Factor (EF) rating on the label will tell you have efficient the hot water heater is at transferring heat from the energy source to the water.

The higher the EF number the more efficient the hot water heater.

What Is Its Lifespan?

A final thing to consider is the expected time to replacement for the hot water heater. To make an informed decision you will need to calculate the overall cost of purchasing and operating a hot water heater that meets your usage needs.

Make sure you factor in the cost of labor. There is a wide range of solutions to choose from. Some that are cheaper to operate may be expensive to install and remove. This might negate and cost savings.

Consult with your contractor or home center representative to help you determine the perfect hot water heater for your home.

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