What Are Your Water Heating Options?
Hesitating to jump on the same kind of water heater after you’ve been living with the same one for the last twenty years? By now you know you’ve got options. But until you’ve looked into your own water habits, it’s hard to know what’ll work best.
Many might not think of it, but making sure that your water heater isn’t a mismatch directly affects how often your water heater repair takes place.
While most homes can accommodate different kinds of water heaters, there are options that are better for some homes than others.
To help you get the most out of your new water heater, here are the ways we guide our customers towards the unit that’s right for them.
Families: Storage or Hybrid Water Heaters
While there are some more advanced tankless options to be had, for families with higher-than-average water activity, we typically recommend a high-capacity storage or hybrid option.
Unlike most tankless options that are unable to meet the heavier water demands of a family in full swing, a storage heater is designed with a high output in mind.
Looking for something in between the two? Hybrid water heaters, otherwise known as heat pump water heaters, might also be able to solve this problem for some families. We’ll discuss the hybrid option in more detail below.
Long Showers: Tankless
The appeal of tankless water heaters is the fact that they offer continuous heating capability. Meaning, they won’t go cold when you’re in the middle of a nice, warm shower.
The drawback is that that continuous heat doesn’t extend very far beyond a single shower and another appliance working at the same time – such as a dishwasher. This is also what makes tankless heaters a great option for homes with only 1-2 residents.
Heavy Simultaneous Water Use: Storage
It’s not just families who use a lot of water. Many homes, including ones with only 1-2 people, might very well be in the habit of “bundling” hot water consumption.
So what if your home tends to have showers, dishwashers, and laundry machines going on at the same time? Then your best bet is likely a modern storage water heater.
The reason for that is because even though they don’t offer continuous heating like a tankless option, storage water heaters don’t struggle to meet water “sprints” where hot water is needed in different parts of the house.
That’s not to say they don’t have a limit, but because they use water that is preheated (and stored, hence the name), they tend to be great for homes where 1-2 people are showering and the same time clothes or dishes are being washed.
Coordinated Water Use: Hybrid Water Heaters
Some homes pride themselves on their ability to function as a team. Everybody’s got a job, everybody goes to bed on time and in some cases, everybody follows a showering schedule to avoid drawing heat away from another appliance that may need it.
For homes built on coordination, a hybrid water heater might just feel like a new addition to the family. That’s because unlike tankless or storage water heaters, “smart” hybrid water heaters can be tailored to not only meet the varying needs of a home’s particular water schedule, but can also by configured to use the best heating source depending on what’s most available.
Fuel Source: Type Varies
Which brings us to knowing your fuel source. Just like your water heater should match your hot water needs, it should also match your fuel source. Where some homes might be heated via natural gas, others might be heated by propane or oil.
There are both electric and gas-based tankless options. There are also electric and gas-based storage heaters as well. And of course, there are hybrids that are a combination of the two systems.
Balancing what fuel source is most affordable in your area with the water usage of your home is the final consideration you’ll need to factor into your buying decision.
We hope this guide provided you with some insight into the questions to ask as you shop for a new water heater. As always, if you’ve got any other questions, never hesitate to give our shop a call.