Water Heater Basics | What to Know Before Buying

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A water heater is one of just a few fundamental home appliances. At some point if you live inside any home with hot water you’re going to experience a water heater failure. For whatever reason, your water heater is going to stop making hot water or it’s going to leak all over the place.

Rheem RTEX-24 24kW 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater

What to Know Before you Buy a Water Heater 


There are key features to water heaters that you should know about before purchasing. According to TehnoGuru, The followings are the five main vital factors you must consider before purchasing a water heater. Let’s dig the factors.


The fuel source of the water heater


Most water heaters run on electricity or gas as their fuel source. Both types need a supply of power. The gas water heaters usually have a higher up-front cost. Gas water heaters also need special ventilation. The gas water heaters typically make a higher up-front cost but a lower operating cost. Electric water heaters typically provide a lower up-front cost but a higher operating cost. Before choosing the fuel source, you need to understand which source is your home using. 


To complicate things slightly more there are now heat pump water heaters. Heat pump water heaters run off electricity but use cheap in the air to heat the water. They are so efficient that they can now almost match the efficiency of gas water heaters.


The energy efficiency of the water heater


A water heater is the third-largest energy consumer home appliance. The water heater increases your household expenses. Heating water can expense 20% of a home’s annual energy costs. Both the electric and gas water heaters consume huge energy. For checking how much energy is used by the water heater, find the EF rating attached to the unit.

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Most new type water heaters have a higher degree of energy efficiency. This energy efficiency meets strict federal energy standards. You need to have a look at the Energy Factor (EF) rating on the unit. This unit usually works to measure how efficiently a unit converts energy into heat. This also helps to identify how much energy gets lost during storage. It would help if you kept that in mind, the higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater is.

The functionality of the storage of the water heater


Water heaters come with types of storage options. In the United States, the most popular water heaters are the tank storage water heaters. A storage heater usually works to heat and store the hot water. It delivers hot water from the storage when the hot water supply’s button is turned on. When the hot water is delivered, cold water starts entering into the storage. It ensures that the tank remains full all the time. This is because the power supply remains active all the time. So, if the tank remains empty, it will only waste the energy. 


The newer tankless on demand models help you to reduce losing heat and energy unnecessarily. This feature will help you to eliminate heat waste and reduce energy consumption. It eliminates cost by 20 percent to up to 30 percent. Under this method, cold water travels through a pipe to the unit first. It then enables heating the water whenever you need. This feature will never let you run out of hot water. One of the problems with this demand water heater is that it does provide a limited flow rate of the water. This can be a problem for you when you require a huge amount of water for serving many people at a time.

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The capacity of the storage of the water heater


Tank water heaters can be evaluated depending on the number of gallons they store. Both the first-hour rating and the gallons-per-minute rating indicate how fast they can heat the water and supply over a while. On-demand water heaters supply water instantly. Therefore, they do not hold water for any time. The gallons-per-minute rating outlines the capacity of the flow.


How much space will you need to set it up?


One of the main factors that you need to consider before buying a water heater is the space for the installation of the water heater. If you do not have enough space to accommodate a standard-sized water heater, you will have to look for an alternative option. You may need to go with lowboys or short water heaters, which require smaller spaces than that of the standard-sized ones. They can solve your space problem. They usually require small areas. You can install one of these smaller water heaters in a crawl space or under the cabinets. If you have enough space to accommodate a bigger water heater, you should go for the standard-sized ones.



A water heater is an essential home appliance that you need for performing your household work. So, the water heater has to be more durable. There are different types of water heaters available in the market. You have to be careful to check the above factors before buying a water heater for your house.