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Buying a Water Heater: What Consumers Should Know

Hot water is the second largest energy expense in your home, accounting for between 14% and 18% of your utility bill. When shopping for a new water heater, look for an energy-efficient product that will supply your household with ample hot water. The main factors to take into account are the type of water heater, its size and its fuel source.

Types of Water Heaters

The two most common types of water heaters are traditional tank water heaters (also called hot water tanks), and tankless water heaters. Hot water tanks store hot water, while tankless water heaters heat water as needed.

1. Hot Water Tanks

Hot water tanks maintain the advantage of having a lower upfront cost. In addition, they supply ample hot water, provided you select the right size of hot water tank for your home.

Here are some rough guidelines for selecting a size:

• A 90-litre (20-gallon) tank is suitable for a family with one shower.
• A 135-litre (30-gallon) tank is suitable for a family with two showers.
• A 180-litre (40-gallon) tank is suitable for a family with three showers or with two showers, a dishwasher and a washer.
• A 225-litre (50-gallon) tank is suitable for a family with two or more showers, a large-capacity dishwasher and a large-capacity washer.

Note that these sizes apply only to gas hot water tanks. Electric hot water tanks require larger capacities to meet similar water demands. To get a more precise idea of what size you need, speak with an experienced water heater technician.

2. Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are more expensive but also more energy efficient and therefore may save you money in the long run. They’re also much smaller and can be mounted on walls, freeing up floor space. A drawback is that they have a limited flow of hot water per minute; if you’re drawing hot water for more than one household fixture or appliance simultaneously, a tankless water heater may fail to meet hot water demands. 

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

Gas water heaters cost more upfront but less to run and generally make up the difference in price in under a year. Moreover, they heat up water quicker than electric models.

Electric water heaters have the advantage of requiring no ventilation. Therefore, they can be installed anywhere in your home. They also produce fewer emissions.

Hot Water Tanks and Tankless Water Heaters in Vancouver

If you need to replace your water heater, turn to a heating contractor at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating for our experience, professionalism and competitive rates. Contact us today to schedule same-day service in Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver and beyond.

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