Purchasing a new water heater is something a homeowner only needs to do every 10-12 years (if lucky), so it’s understandable if you’re not entirely up-to-date on the latest technology and features. To help you get started, let’s cover the basics. When picking out a new water heater for your home, it’s important to consider the fuel source, capacity, how much space you need, and utility requirements.
How much space do you have?
Typically, as technology advances and appliances get more efficient, the size of the equipment gets smaller. But surprisingly, modern water heaters are actually larger now they were. Energy regulations from 2015 require more insulation in hot water tanks, which has increased the size of units by about 2 inches in diameter and 2 inches in height. So if you’re replacing an older tank water heater and it’s already a tight fit, you want to make sure you have enough clearance before installing the new one.
Which fuel source do you need or want?
Water heaters are available in a few different types, including natural gas, electric, and propane. In some cases, the selection of fuel source may be a personal preference, or it may be determined by what’s already available at your home or area. Typically, natural gas ends up being the least economical energy source.
What capacity do you need for your household?
No one ever wants to run out of hot water. That’s why it’s essential that your new water heater is appropriately sized. The simplest method for determining what size you need is based on the number of people in your household; however, more sophisticated methods are available if you desire. Choosing the optimal capacity ensures that you have enough hot water (especially if multiple outlets are used at once) without wasting energy.
Capacity is measured differently for tank and tankless water heaters:
- Tank water heaters – number of gallons that are stored, ranging from 30-80
- Tankless water heaters – flow rate, or gallon per minute
What are your electrical, gas line, and venting requirements?
To avoid any installation issues, make sure that the placement and capacity of your utilities are appropriate for your new water heater. For example, if you’re considering switching from a tank water heater to a tankless unit, be aware that they typically use different size gas lines and venting methods, which increase installation labor and costs. It’s also possible that you will need to upgrade your electrical for the new water heater.
Water heater installation in the New Orleans and Metairie areas
When it comes to a decision as important as picking out a new water heater for your home, it’s a good idea to bring in the professionals. Call Bienvenu Brothers today at (504) 835-7783, and our friendly team will help you make the best decision for your comfort and budget.