Water Heater Installation: 8 Things to Consider Before You Get Started
Installing a new water heater can be a significant investment for any homeowner. It's essential to take the time to consider all the factors involved to ensure that you make the right decision regarding the unit purchase and setup process.
In this article, we’ll discuss eight factors to consider before installing a water heater. This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into and can make the best decision for your home’s hot water supply.
Water Heater Type
Several types of water heaters are available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of water heaters include traditional tank-style, tankless, heat pump, and solar-powered heaters. Below, we summarize what you need to know about each type:
These traditional water heater units are often the most affordable option and provide an ample supply of hot water for small to medium-sized households. They work by holding a heated supply of hot water in reserve in a tank, ready to be used when someone turns on the tap. However, these models take up a lot of space and are generally relatively inefficient.
These more modern units are more energy efficient than the traditional tank style, as they only heat water when needed rather than continually heating a tank of water. However, large households may need multiple tankless heaters to meet all their hot water needs, as these units are unable to draw from a ready supply.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
These innovative water heaters are the most energy-efficient option as they use outdoor air to heat water rather than relying on gas or electricity. However, they often have a higher upfront installation cost and may experience unreliability in colder climates.
These units are the most eco-friendly option, using the sun's energy to heat water rather than fuel. However, they’re more expensive upfront and require a large roof space and a suitable climate to be effective.
Water Heater Fuel Source
The fuel source you choose for your water heater depends on your home's infrastructure and personal preferences. Water heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil—if they aren’t heat pump or solar-powered. A gas-powered water heater may be the most cost-effective option if you already have a gas line in your home. However, an electric water heater may be a better choice if you don’t have a gas line.
Water Heater Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of your water heater can have huge implications on how it's used. Not only are larger-capacity heaters more expensive, but they can also cause a strain on resources or even pose safety hazards if not installed correctly. However, a small water heater might not be able to meet the demands of your family household.
It’s essential to consult with an expert plumber to assess the size and capacity of your hot water needs before making a purchase. They’ll consider the size of your home, the number of people, and other factors to ensure you get the perfect water heater for your family's needs.
Don't risk getting stuck with a heater that's too small or too big for your lifestyle!
Water Heater Energy Efficiency
Investing in an energy-efficient water heater may seem like an expense you can't afford, but it pays off in the long run. Not only do they help you save on your monthly utility bills, but they also contribute to reducing your carbon footprint.
When shopping for a new water heater, look for models with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency and potential savings.
If you want maximum energy efficiency, consider tankless or heat pump heaters, as these are significantly more efficient than traditional tank-style models. Not only will they pay for themselves in the long run, but they can also help you make a positive contribution to the environment.
Water Heater Installation Cost
The price tag for water heater installation can be a big concern. However, with careful research and a few quotes from qualified professionals, you can find a cost-effective way to ensure your home never runs out of hot water.
Tank-style heaters are typically the most affordable option for installation, while tankless and solar-powered systems may require a more significant investment upfront. Regardless of the type, make sure to get multiple quotes from professional plumbers before committing. That way, you can be confident you're getting the best deal.
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your water heater running efficiently for years to come. Different types of water heaters require different types of maintenance, and it's best to consult with a professional plumber to ensure that your heater is properly looked after.
Also, you should have your water heater inspected yearly to ensure it’s functioning properly. Regular maintenance and inspection can save you a lot of money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or replacements.
When it comes to a big purchase like a water heater, the warranty is one of the most important things to consider. Most manufacturers offer a warranty of three to five years, but some models have a more extended warranty.
It's important to read the warranty carefully and understand exactly what it covers. Some warranties may include parts, labor, or both, so you want to know precisely what coverage your warranty provides. This will help protect your investment and ensure you get the most out of your water heater.
Local Codes and Regulations
Before installing a new water heater, it's important to check your local codes and regulations to ensure compliance. Some areas may require a permit for installation, while others may have specific requirements for venting or fuel sources.
Failing to comply with local codes and regulations can result in fines or other penalties. Always consult a qualified professional before installing your new water heater to ensure you're in the clear.
Speak with a Water Heater Professional Today
In the end, selecting the right water heater for your home comes down to a variety of factors. From the size and energy efficiency to installation cost and maintenance requirements, you need to ensure that the model you choose best fits your needs. With a bit of research and guidance from a professional, you can find the perfect water heater for your home.
Now that you understand the basics of selecting a water heater, it's time to talk to a professional. At Lion's Plumbing and Heating, we’re the experts on all things related to water heaters and can help you find the best model for your home. We even offer installation services to ensure your new heater is installed properly and safely.
If you're ready to install a new water heater, contact us today (240) 793-0198 to get started. We'd be happy to answer any of your questions and help you find the perfect solution for your needs!