Selecting A New Water Heater for Your Atlanta Home

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably won’t go shopping for a new water heater until your existing one fails. And that will likely happen at the worst possible time. Like right before a large holiday party, or out-of-town guests arrive for a week’s visit.

In full panic mode, you rush to make a decision to fix the problem rather than considering what’s best for you, your family, and your home.

A much better approach is to do your research now before an emergency situation arises.

There are many options available to you – gas or electric, storage or demand, stand-alone or one that integrates with your heating system. There’s a lot to consider, from determining the proper size for your household, to selecting one that operates efficiently for your lifestyle.

In most cases, water heaters last 10 to 15 years. That means by spending a little extra time selecting the perfect model today will continue to pay for years to come.

Storage Water Heaters

Storage water heaters are by far the most common type of water heaters in the US today. You’ll find storage tanks ranging in size from 20 to 80 gallons or more, being fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil. They heat the water before storing it in an insulated tank. The hot water is always there waiting for you. However, it’s limited to the supply stored within the tank. If you’ve ever used multiple fixtures throughout your home at one time, you’ve probably encountered a problem where you run out of hot water. New energy efficient models have a higher level of insulation around the tank to prevent standby heat loss. This makes current models more efficient than models sold even a few years before.

Demand Water Heaters

Demand water heaters do not have a storage tank. A gas or electric element heats the water only as you demand it. The hot water never runs out because it is produced as long as you desire. But the flow rate is determined by the size of the system you install. This is known as the flow rate – gallons of hot water per minute, or gpm. Keep in mind that demand water heaters do have their limits. The largest readily available demand water heater can supply about 5 gallons of hot water per minute. This would support approximately two simultaneous showers. If you run multiple appliances at one time on a frequent basis, you would have to have two or more units to meet demand.

While these are the two most common water heaters on the market today, there are other options.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another. It takes heat from the outside air or air within the room itself, then uses a refrigerant fluid and a compressor to transfer that heat into an insulated storage tank. Heat pump water heaters use one-third to one-half as much electricity as a conventional electric water heater, and in warmer climates may do even better.

Hybrid Water Heaters

In the simplest of terms, these water heaters feature a condensing burner smaller than one used in a whole-house tankless unit, and will provide a tank that holds more than two gallons of heated water, but less storage than a traditional model. The smaller burner means they will not require gas line installation for retrofits.

Water Heater Installation & Replacement in Atlanta

What water heater is the best choice for your Atlanta home? If you need help deciding, contact R.S. Andrews now!

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