If you have been following recent developments in home plumbing technology, you may have noticed that the industry has had a real shakeup over the last few years. Better water heater efficiency, new technologies, and changes in consumer trends mean that buying a new water heater may be particularly challenging or overwhelming for the average person. If you’re looking for a new water heater, here are some factors that you will have to consider before choosing which to buy.
New Tank Heaters Have Grown in Size
The newer tank heaters have become more efficient, allowing for you to use more hot water without it going cold quickly like in the past. This efficiency comes from tanks now having to be better insulated to minimize heat loss, larger interior tank sizes, and supplementation from other heat sources. This greater efficiency comes with a price, however: tank heaters have, on average, grown two inches in height and two in width over the years. For some this will not be an issue if they have a large space that can be easily modified to fit the extra size of the tank. For others, however, the tank becoming larger may mean having to look for non-tank water heating solutions.
Find the Right Fuel Source
One of the considerations you don’t necessarily have the most control over is your fuel source. The most common fuel sources are propane, electricity, and natural gas. Heating your home with propane is generally more expensive due to fuel costs, but it is a popular fuel for cabins and other situations where there is no natural gas or electricity available. Natural gas is the least expensive of the three, but it is not available for everyone and can be expensive to access if your home doesn’t already have a natural gas hookup
The defining factor of your decision, therefore, will probably be whether or not you have natural gas. If you only have electricity at your home, it is most often cheaper to use the existing fuel source rather than accessing a new fuel source. A plumbing company can help you determine what your options are for fuel and how efficient it will be to heat water using each of those sources. For more information, go to www.fixitrightplumbing.com.au/.
Look Into Your Groundwater Temperature
So far, we have only gone into detail on the more traditional tank water heaters. With tank water heaters, water fills the tank and is heated and kept at that temperature. Water is added and heated after the tap using the hot water is turned off in order to not dilute the hot water before it is heated completely. There is another option, however: tankless electric water heaters. These have become increasingly popular in recent years, but there are a few things you must consider that aren’t a major issue with tank water heaters. One of these things is groundwater temperature.
Groundwater temperature is important because it will take more power to heat your water in cool than in warm climates. Groundwater temperature maps should be used to determine the groundwater temperature in your area, since measuring the temperature of the water coming from your water source or outdoor spigot will not accurately reflect the full range of groundwater temperatures.
What Flow Rate Does Your Home Require?
Flow rate refers to the amount of hot water flow required for your various appliances and faucets. With tankless electric water heaters, you will have to be careful about your flow rate because there is no tank to supplement hot water when the flow rate is overcome. Many tankless water heaters can’t keep up with fixtures that require a high flow rate, such as spas and hot tubs, and even the largest tanks will run out of hot water when using these as well. Because of the difficulty in water supply and various environmental concerns, it is suggested that you minimize your high flow rate appliances wherever you can.
Though the new considerations may seem overwhelming at first, looking at them systematically will help you choose the type and style of water heater that is right for you. Keep these considerations in mind, and you won’t have to worry about making an expensive mistake when shopping for a new water heater.