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Hot Water Heater Buying Guide

Water Heater Types

Hot water is one thing that you take for granted until it runs out in the middle of your shower. Then you're hurrying to finish your shower in cold water. If you find you are constantly running out of hot water, the water heater makes loud noises, and you’re showering in rust-colored water, then the time has come for you to consider replacing the hot water heater before it breaks, or worse, flood your basement.

The good news is there are plenty of water heating options available for you to choose from. Below is a water-heater guide with some practical suggestions to help you choose the best water heater that works for your needs.

Water Heater Types

Lucky for you, there are many choices of water heaters available in the market. The options can be confusing, so let’s break down your options below:

  • Tankless (demand-type) water heaters use metal coils directly without using a water storage tank.
  • Conventional storage water heaters are the most common water heaters, storing hot water in an insulated water tank until you need it.
  • Heat pump water heaters capture heat and move it from one place to another, instead of directly generating heat.
  • Solar water heaters use a roof-mounted cell to harness the heat from the sun to an antifreeze-like fluid that heats the water.
  • Condensing water heaters use gas and have a capacity of over 55 gallons.

Features to Consider in a Water Heater

When shopping for a new water heater, you want to consider the following:

Storage Capacity

Size matters, especially when you’re going for the conventional storage water heater. Your choice will depend on how many people are in your household and your water usage. It’s helpful to consider the FHR (first-hour-rating) or the number of gallons your water heater can deliver in an hour with a full tank. To figure out which type works for your family, you can use the calculator on the Energy Saver website.

Warranty

You want to get the most extended warranty possible on a water heater. Typically, it’s about 12 years, but if they present you with a choice to upgrade the warranty, take it. It’s worth it in the long run.

Valves

Look at the valves at the water heater base for a drainage hose, and choose the ones with brass drain valves. These valves last longer than their plastic counterparts.

Cost

Besides the purchase price, you want to consider a heater’s annual operating cost. Compare annual operating costs between heaters and choose the one that fits into your budget.

Turn to the Pros in Port St. Lucie

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices and things you have to be on the lookout for when purchasing a water heater. Need expert advice to cut through the confusion? Contact the experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and get all your water heater questions answered.