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Tips for Choosing a New Water Heater

Posted by Empire Blog at 1:56 am on March 17, 2015

Water Heaters

It’s easy to get confused when figuring out which type of water heater will work best for your home. As seasoned air and heating contractors in Atlanta, we’ve often had to guide our clients in making this decision. Below are factors you should consider when selecting a new water heater for your Atlanta home.

The Energy Factor (EF)

This is a rating established by the United States Department of Energy to compare the energy efficient capabilities of different products. For water heaters, the EF rating takes three factors into account:

1. How efficiently the water is heated (Recovery Efficiency)

2. The percentage of heat loss per hour (Standby Loss)

3. The loss of heat as the water circulates through the unit (Cycling Loss)

A high EF rating means the appliance uses energy efficiently.

Storage Water Heaters

To date, this is probably still the most common hot water system installed in many homes. Water is kept at a constant temperature via electricity, propane or natural gas.

Storage water heaters are relatively inexpensive ($900-$1, 400 per unit,  including installation); they are widely available in a variety of sizes and they last quite a long time (from 10 to 15 years).

However, a 10 to 15 percent radiant heat loss is not uncommon. Over time, you end up paying for fuel consumption that you do not actually use. Most storage-type water heaters have an average EF rating of .67.

Tankless Water Heaters

Also known as on-demand water heaters, tankless waters heaters take up very little space and can be mounted inside or on an outside wall. They use up to 30 percent less energy to heat a comparable amount of water as a storage water heater as there is little to no standby energy loss. With proper maintenance and usage, you can expect to get up to 20 years of hot water from tankless water heaters. They have an average EF rating of .75.

Tankless water heater units are more costly to purchase ($2, 800-$3, 500, with install), and the flow of hot water is limited by the size of the heater. Large gas units may require modifications to the vent pipe (which is another expense) and electric tankless water heaters may draw more current than your electrical system is designed to accommodate.

Solar Water Heaters

Although solar water heaters can be expensive to purchase and install ($7, 000 to as high as $12, 000), they use little to no energy, and these savings can pay for the unit itself and its installation in as few as eight years. The life expectancy of solar water heaters is 20 years or more. Because they use a renewable source of energy to heat water, they are an environmentally friendly choice of eco-conscious homeowners.

For reliable heating and central air conditioning service, HVAC tune-ups and a wide range of Atlanta HVAC design, installation, repair and regular maintenance, call us.

Our highly-trained and experienced HVAC professionals are ready to do everything possible to ensure a safe and comfortable indoor environment for you and your family or business.

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