Water Heater Buying Guide

Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning technician sitting at a table with a client showing a water heater buying guide

Cold seasons can be hard to go through without a water heater to warm your water. However, for most homeowners, the energy costs of running a water heater are a major concern. Heating water accounts for about 20% of a household's yearly energy expenditure.

If you plan on buying or choosing a water heater, the size type, and efficiency of the heater you select will have a huge impact on how it performs – and the amount of cash you’ll save in the long run.

Here’s a buying guide on how to select a water heater.

How to Choose a Water Heater That Suits Your Home and Budget

It's important to learn about the different water heater types before you select a hot water heater that suits you.

Tank and Tankless Water Heaters

While there are various types of heaters to choose from such as heat pumps, the most common heaters are tank and tankless heaters.

Tank water heaters are huge metallic cylinders that store hot water and save it for future use. These heaters are normally installed in the basement or laundry room. Their capacity ranges from 40-60 gallons of water and they’re about 60 inches tall by 24 inches wide in size.

Tankless water heaters on the other hand only turn on when water is needed.  They lack a holding tank and they’re about 20 inches wide by 28 inches long by 10 inches deep. They are usually more costly and efficient than tank water heaters. They also last longer than tank water heaters and can last up to twenty years.

Direct and Indirect-Fired Water Heaters

Whether your heater is a tank or tankless, they are generally categorized into direct or indirect-fired water heaters.

Direct-fired heaters mean that the water inside the tank is heated directly by a source of heat or flame.  They are mainly used in houses with warm air furnaces.

Indirect-fired heaters on the other hand mean that the heater gets hot water from a furnace or boiler. It then channels the hot water via a heat exchanger found in the storage tank. The energy that's stored by the storage tank enables the heater to switch on and off less frequently. This ultimately saves on energy and money.

The Water Heater Fuel Type

The heater's source of fuel is also an important factor when choosing a water heater. Some water heaters are compatible with oil, propane, gas, electricity, etc. Each of these sources of fuel has its own pros and cons.

Water Heater Installation

Now that you’ve learned how to pick a hot water heater, is it possible to install one yourself? Yes, you can do it yourself. However, if you need help installing it or you need some advice on the best type of heater, get in touch with Moncrief Heating & Air Conditioning for Atlanta HVAC Service today.