A Homeowner’s Guide To Selecting A New Water Heater

image by Adobe Stock

In most countries, especially in colder regions, it’s hard to imagine a home without a water heater. Just imagine heating water from your stove every time you need to take a bath, wash the dishes, or do the laundry. 

Providing you with hot water on demand, a water heater plays a crucial role in your everyday life. Whether this is your first time purchasing a water heater or you’re simply looking for a replacement, this article shares useful tips on how to find the best one for your needs. 

If you’re having trouble with your current water heater, watch this YouTube video:

Understand The Different Types Of Water Heaters

When you start your search, you’ll come across several types of water heaters. These include:

  • Conventional Water Heaters

Conventional water heaters are the oldest design available and probably the most common type that most people are familiar with. This is a tanked water heater featuring a sizable tank where the water is stored and heated. 

In general, cold water is heated by the system to a pre-set temperature. Then, it is stored in the insulated tank until it’s ready to use. When the temperature drops or as you use the hot water, the unit starts again to reheat the water. 

So, while this type of water heater provides you with a reservoir of hot water, it can be an energy waster due to standby heat loss when it’s not running. 

  • Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater is a more energy-efficient alternative to conventional water heaters. Also known as on-demand water heaters, a tankless heater provides hot water on an as-needed basis. 

Unlike tanked heaters, tankless water heaters don’t have tanks to store pre-heated water. Instead, they are designed to immediately heat water whenever it’s needed. Cold water runs through super-heated coils that heat the water in just a few seconds. 

Since there’s no tank filled with standing hot water, you don’t have to worry about standby heat loss that can increase your energy bills. Take note, however, that as convenient as tankless water heaters may be, these units have a limited output of 2-5 gallons per minute. This means that, depending on the size, it may not be as efficient in heating water if multiple appliances are using hot water simultaneously. 

If you want to know more about tankless water heaters, consult one of the most reliable providers and installers of tankless water heater Sapulpa, OK has to offer, such as Advantage.

  • Solar-Powered Water Heaters

As more homeowners switch to renewable solutions, solar-powered water heaters have now become readily available. Like traditional water heaters, a solar heater features a large insulated tank to store water. However, instead of using electricity or gas, it uses solar panels to power the system. 

Due to its energy source, this system works best in areas with plenty of sunshine. However, to make the system more efficient, some manufacturers connect it to electric or gas lines to ensure that you still have hot water even without enough sunlight. 

  • Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are often used to cool and heat your home. However, they can also be used as water heaters. Unlike other types of water heaters, a heat pump doesn’t generate heat directly. It uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. 

The system captures heat from the ground or air, which is then pumped through the unit to heat your water. Thus, it consumes less energy compared to conventional water heaters. 

Determine The Energy Source

Aside from the type of water heater, you also need to consider the type of energy it uses. In general, there are several types of energy sources for water heaters. 

  • Electricity

Most water heater models use this type of energy source. In general, water heaters powered by electricity are considered safe and more efficient than most types of energy sources. 

  • Natural Gas

Natural gas is another common fuel source in most countries, including the US. While natural gas may cost more upfront, it uses less energy than electricity, helping you save more money in the long run. 

  • Geothermal Energy

This is a renewable energy source that uses the natural heat radiating from the Earth’s core. This is often used in hot water systems via ground heat pumps. 

  • Solar

Solar energy is growing in popularity since it offers cheaper operations in the long run. That said, since this fuel source may be limited by weather conditions, most experts recommend that you use a backup fuel source. 

image by Adobe Stock

Water Heater Size And Capacity

Depending on the type of water heater, you need to choose the right size and capacity for your home. 

In general, tanked water heaters hold 40-55 gallons of water or more. The size you need will depend on the number of people living in your home, the number of appliances and taps using the water, and your peak water usage. You also need to consider the water heater’s recovery rate. This is the number of gallons of water that a water heater can heat in an hour while refilling the tank. 

Meanwhile, if you choose a tankless water heater, you need to look for the gallons-per-minute (GPM) rating. It tells you how much water the unit can deliver for a specific period. In general, the higher the GPM, the hotter water it can provide. 


Your water heater ensures that you always have water at a comfortable temperature for everything from washing the dishes to showering. Plus, it can also have a significant impact on your overall household expenses. 

As such, when it’s time to replace your water heater, you want to make sure that you find the best one for your home. We hope that this guide has equipped you with the necessary information to make your water heater shopping a breeze. 

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