Water heaters are one of the most essential appliances in your home because they allow you to clean and bathe comfortably. Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, water comes into your home cold, and it can be heated by electricity or natural gas, depending on the water heater you choose.
What Features Should You Look for in a Water Heater?
When deciding which water heater to buy, there are several things you need to consider:
- Your budget and the cost of the water heater, including installation and maintenance
- Whether you prefer electricity or natural gas as the power source
- How many people live in your home
- Whether you should have a tank or tankless water heater
- The construction of the water heater’s tank
If you are purchasing a new water heater to replace an old one, the most cost-efficient option is to stick with the same fuel source. Additionally, a natural gas water heater is usually the cheapest choice. Some utility companies offer rebates if you switch to an electric water heater.
For a two to three-person home, a 40-gallon tank should be sufficient. For a four to five-person home, a 50-gallon tank is a better option. If you have over six residents in your home, you should opt for the largest tank available.
A tankless or demand water heater warms water quickly in the coils instead of in a tank. Tankless water heaters are more expensive, but they are efficient and can save you money on energy costs in the long run. Tank water heaters last about eight to 12 years, and tankless water heaters last about 10 to 15 years.
If you opt for a tank water heater, it’s best to choose one that is self-cleaning. Sediment, which causes hard water, can build up in your water tank, and trying to remove it yourself with chemical cleaners can damage your water heater and contaminate your water.
What Are the Best Water Heater Brands?
Founded in 1925, Rheem offers a wide range of water heater products, including electric water heaters, hybrid heat pump models, tank water heaters, and tankless water heaters.
Hybrid water heaters use a heat pump and a storage tank, which combines the efficiency of a tankless model with the storage capacity of a tank unit for top performance.
Founded in 1920, Japanese company Rinnai brought its unique style of water heaters to America in the 1970s. Rinnai produces budget-friendly tankless water heaters for homeowners looking for an energy-efficient option without breaking the bank.
Founded in 1874 and one of the largest manufacturers of water heaters in North America, A.O. Smith offers a full range of high-quality options, including tank water heaters, tankless water heaters, and hybrid heat pumps.
Founded in 1881, Bradford White is one of the oldest water heater brands on this list. Bradford White offers both tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. Their tankless water heaters provide superior efficiency ratings, but their tank water heaters are some of the most efficient on the market. They use as little natural gas as possible to power the system.
Bradford White products are generally available through plumbing suppliers or contractors.
Founded in 1924, German company Stiebel Eltron makes some of the best electric tankless water heaters and heat pumps, including electric mini-tank water heaters.
Contact Stephens Plumbing for Dependable Water Heater Installation & Maintenance
The licensed plumbers at Stephens Plumbing provide expert water heater repair, maintenance, replacement, and installation services. If you experience a leak or a sudden loss of hot water, we also have emergency plumbers who can quickly assess the situation and perform the necessary repair or replacement.