Choosing a Water Heater

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated July 21, 2010)

Choosing a water heater is a process that has long left people confused and frustrated. In large part this is because these are usually large, complex pieces of equipment that the average home owner doesn't understand. In addition, there is the fear that by choosing the wrong water heater a home owner can end up paying a huge energy bill that they cannot afford. The truth is that choosing a water heater is simply a matter of following a few simple guidelines. With these guidelines in hand, you can be assured that you will be able to choose the best possible water heater unit for you home, and your needs.

  • Energy is important. When looking through your options in a water heater, you need to make sure that there is a large yellow sticker. This yellow sticker will have the words "Energy Guide" written clearly on it, and will show the annual average usage of electricity or natural gas for that particular unit. As you look at this sticker, you may notice that there is a little bit of information missing, which is the rate of recovery. Ask about this information, since it will tell you how quickly the unit will heat up your water.
  • Size for electrical and gas heaters. Size really does matter when choosing a water heater. Surprisingly, there is a difference between the size of a gas heater and the size of an electrical heater that you will need. For example, a family of four that has two bathrooms, a washing machine, and a dishwasher will need to have an electrical unit that is between 50 and 80 gallons; whereas, a gas heater only needs to be between 50 and 75 gallons. The electrical unit should also have a heating unit that is around 5,500 watts, while the gas unit should have a 40,000 Btu heating element.
  • The warranty matters. Perhaps one of the most important elements to consider when choosing a water heater is the warranty. Each warranty will have a different lifespan, most falling between 6 and 12 months. Be sure that you know the length of time that your warranty will last, as well as what the warranty will cover. This can help save you an immense amount of money later on if there is a problem. Always try to get the best possible warranty.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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