Best gas hot water heater

Expert Home Improvement Advice
March 13, 2013 – 12:58 pm

Choosing a Hot Water HeaterHeating water is the second largest single user of energy in the home. While we all enjoy a soothing hot shower, rising energy costs—along with their adverse environmental impact—make it a good time to take a closer look at the various options now available.

Types of Hot Water Heaters

  • Storage Tank: The most common hot water system used in homes. Water is kept constantly heated in the storage tank by electricity, natural gas, oil, or propane. Hot water is drawn out of the top of the tank when a faucet is turned on and cold water flows in the bottom to replace it.
  • Tankless: Also known as on demand water heaters. Water is heated by electricity or gas when the water flows through it without the need for a tank.
  • Solar: Water is circulated from the tank through a solar collector where it is heated by the sun.Hot water heaters for sale in store If the water in the tank is not hot enough, a conventional water heater is used to bring it up to the desired temperature.
  • Heat Pump: Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another. Heat pumps can be used for water heating alone or in combination with your heating and air conditioning system.

Factors in Choosing a Hot Water Heater

So which type of water heater is right for your home? There are several factors to consider including the price of the system and installation, the cost and availability of energy sources, the energy factor (EF) rating of the water heater, and whether the system meets new water heater regulations.

EF ratings were established by the U.S. Department of Energy to compare the energy efficiency of various products. The EF scale for water heaters runs from a low of 0.5 for gas storage tank heaters to 2.0 for electric heat pump models. The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater.Tankless hot water heater mounted outside on brick wall of home. The EF number takes into account:

  • Recovery Efficiency: How efficiently the heat is applied to the water.
  • Standby Loss: The percentage of heat loss per hour of the stored water.
  • Cycling Loss: The loss of heat as the water circulates through the unit.

On April 16, 2015, new water heater efficiency regulations went into effect under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). All new water heaters must meet new, higher efficiency requirements.Solar hot water heater mounted on roof of house. The benefit is that any new water heater will be more energy-efficient, saving you money.

Hot Water Heater Energy Cost Calculator

Most water heaters run on either electricity, natural gas, or propane. Since energy prices and EF ratings can vary widely, fill in the values in the calculator below to compare energy costs in your area.

While the actual amount spent will depend on how much hot water you use, the calculator will give a comparison between the various energy sources available. Preset values in the calculator represent average EF rating for tank type water heaters and energy prices in the U.S. for 2015.

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