5 Ways to Choose Efficient Water Heater for Your Home


Since winters are around the corner, you may have taken a complete tour of your home. Perhaps, you have noted down which appliances need fixation and which need replacement. Likely, your water heater has also made it to the list. 

According to the Consumer’s Report, the average life span of water heaters is 10-15 years. Also, water heaters account for 20% of your home’s energy bills. So, if your water heater has “lived” its life, it’s time for you to buy a new water heater. However, how to choose a water heater is a tricky question for many. 

You want to get the most effective water heater for your home, but you don’t know how to make the right choice. There are many factors to consider when replacing or adding a water heater to your home. From water heater cost to it's capacity, water heater type, and cost, you have to make multiple decisions.  Don’t worry; if that’s your concern, we have you covered.

  1. Check the First-Hour Rating

Size of your water heater matters; but, the first thing on your checklist should be finding a heater with a suitable First-hour rating (FHR). In case you don’t know, FHR is the measurement of how much hot water a heater can deliver during peak-hours. 

When making this decision, keep your family’s demand for hot water during a busy hour in mind. A large tank doesn’t necessarily have a high FHR. As per the federal law, FHR is mentioned on a unit’s Energy Guide Label. Look for a unit with an FHR that matches your needs.

  1. Determine the Fuel Type

According to the US Department of Energy, fuel type is an important consideration when it comes to buying an effective water heater.  While there are many energy options in the market, consider the fuel type that falls in your budget. 

Some of the common fuel sources for water heaters include electricity, propane, geothermal, solar, and natural gas. Determining the right fuel type for heating your water heater is crucial for two reasons:

  1. Fuel type affects the annual operation cost

  2. It also affects the size and energy efficiency that you may achieve.

Oil, natural gas, and propane water heaters have low operational costs as compared to the electric models. However, if you choose an electrical water heater, make sure to check the off-peak electricity rates with your local utility company.

  1. Consider the Size

That’s probably the first thing that consumers consider when buying a water heater. Make sure to choose a water heater of the right size to keep up with your household needs of hot water. Essentially, there are two types of water heaters:

  • Tank Storage Water Heaters: The conventional storage water heaters or the on-holding “tanks" contain the volume of water. A consuming fuel source keeps the water hot all the time. 

  • Tankless /On-demand Water Heaters: These water heating units don’t have storage tanks. When hot water is needed, the in-built heating device in the water delivery service heats the water. 

The water heater with the right storage mechanism will increase efficiency. The maintenance cost automatically reduces when you don’t over-work the water heater for meeting the needs. 

  1. Choose a Water Heater with a High EF

Make sure to buy an efficient water heater for your home. You can measure the efficiency of a water heater buy its Energy Factor (EF). EF is determined based on a water heater’s recovery efficiency, cycling losses, and standby losses.

The higher the EF of a water heater, the more efficient it is. However, the Energy Factor (EF) of one type of water heater cannot be compared to another one. For instance, an electric resistant water heater with an EF of 0.9 may have a higher operational cost than a gas water heater having an EF of 0.7.

  1. Check your Affordability

You like it or not; budget restrictions are a part of life. Most people opt for low-priced water heating units, especially in case of a sudden failure of the existing water heater. As mentioned above, the average life span of a water heater is almost 15 years. So, there is no harm in paying a little extra but choose a high-quality appliance.

However, make sure that the water heater you are buying has the value for money. To choose an effective water heater for your home, consider not only the water heater cost, but also the operational cost, and its estimated life span. 

Final Thoughts

A lot of people struggle when it comes to choosing an effective water heater for their homes. It may seem a difficult decision, but you can make it simple with thorough research. Check the FHR provided on the unit’s Guide Label, the fuel source, and the size of your water heater. Also, determine the efficiency and the Energy Factor of the heater you are considering to buy. 

If you are still not sure which water heater is the most effective for your home, you can get the services of a professional contractor finder. They will help you locate the best companies in your geographic area from where you can buy an effective water heater within your budget.