Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home

Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home

January 9, 2024 0 By Kasey Chapman

Heating your hot water can account for up to 20% of your household energy costs. Choosing the right water heater can help you save money while keeping your home comfortable.

A tank-type model has an insulated storage tank that holds hot water until it’s needed. Look for models with high Energy Factors (EF) to lower operating costs.


When selecting a new water heater, size is an important factor to consider. The size of your family and household hot water usage will affect how much capacity you need. A family of three to five will likely require a larger tank size than a single person household.

To estimate the size of your tank, start by calculating your peak water usage during the day. This can be done by determining the number of people in your household, how many showers are taken in an hour and the length of each shower. Then, use a flow meter to determine the maximum temperature rise of your water in gallons per minute.

The resulting number will show how many gallons of hot water you need during your peak hour. Choose a new tank with a first-hour rating (FHR) that is slightly lower than your peak-hour demand to ensure it will have enough hot water for your needs.

Energy Efficiency

Water heaters are one of the largest consumers of energy in the home, so opting for a high-efficiency model is an excellent way to save on energy costs. Whether powered by gas or an electric heating element, choosing a high-efficiency model will help you reduce utility bills over time and lower carbon emissions.

The best way to find out if a new or replacement water heater is energy efficient is to check the product’s label, which will indicate its efficiency rating. It’s also a good idea to look at local fuel costs and compare energy rates to ensure that you are getting the most economical solution.

Energy-efficient models typically have a higher upfront cost, but can offer significant savings in the long run due to reduced energy consumption and maintenance requirements. They may even be eligible for government incentives and rebates. Additionally, these appliances can improve your home’s resale value, as buyers increasingly prioritize sustainability.

Fuel Type

Choosing the right water heater will have both short- and long-term impacts on your household’s comfort, energy costs and environmental impact. You may want to stick with the same energy source you have in your home, or experiment with other options like natural gas, propane, solar and geothermal water heaters (these require another system to heat the house and work best in warm climates).

Most homes use tank-type storage water heaters that look like a big metal cylinder found in a laundry room or utility closet. These are usually powered by natural gas or electricity. Some homeowners also choose to purchase hybrid or tankless models that heat water on demand and offer greater energy efficiency.

Electric water heaters use electricity to power the heating element, while gas uses a burner underneath to heat the water. Electric models are generally cheaper in terms of initial cost, but they’re not as environmentally friendly as the other choices.


When it comes to warranties, there are many different terms and conditions that can be confusing. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the exact coverage of your warranty before it comes time to file a claim. When you need help navigating the fine print of your water heater warranty, it’s important to reach out to a plumbing professional who has experience working with this type of policy.

Home warranties are an excellent way to protect against unexpected repair and replacement costs for many appliances and systems in your home, including your water heater. However, it’s important to consider how each warranty plan will affect your specific water heater before deciding on one.

Some home warranty companies may categorize water heaters under home systems instead of appliances, which could make it more difficult to find a good plan that covers your needs. It’s also wise to research company reviews and reputations before selecting a plan.