Water Heater Selection

When selecting a new water heater for your home, choose a water heating system that will not only provide enough hot water but also that will do so
energy efficiently, saving you money. This includes considering the different types of water heaters available and determining the right size and fuel
source for your home.

  • TYPES OF WATER HEATERS
It's a good idea to know the different types of water heaters available before you purchase one:

  1. Conventional storage water heaters offer a ready reservoir (storage tank) of hot water
  2. Tankless or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank
  3. Heat pump water heaters move heat from one place to another for providing hot water
  4. Solar water heaters use the sun's heat to provide hot water

  • SELECTION CRITERIA
When selecting the best type and model of water heater for your home, consider the following:

  1. Fuel type, availability and cost. The fuel type or energy source you use for water heating will not only affect the water heater's annual operation
    costs but also its size and energy efficiency.
  2. Size. To provide your household with enough hot water and to maximize efficiency, you need a properly sized water heater.
  3. Energy efficiency. To maximize your energy and cost savings, you want to know how energy efficient a water heater is before you purchase it.
  4. Costs. Before you purchase a water heater, it's also a good idea to estimate its annual operating costs and compare those costs with other less
    or more energy-efficient models.
  5. Also be sure to do what you can to reduce your hot water use.

  • FUEL TYPES, AVAILABILITY AND COSTS FOR WATER HEATING
When selecting a new water heater, it's important to consider what fuel type or energy source you will use, including its availability and cost. The fuel
used by a water heating system will not only affect annual operation costs but also the water heater's size and energy efficiency.

  • EXPLORING WATER HEATER OPTIONS BY FUEL TYPE
Fuel type and its availability in your area may narrow your water heater choices. The following is a list of water heater options by fuel or energy source:
  • Electricity
    Widely available in the United States to fuel conventional storage, tankless or demand-type, and heat pump water heaters. It also can be
    used with combination water and space heating systems, which include tankless coil and indirect water heaters.
  • Propane
    Available in many areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters, as well as
    indirect combination water and space heating systems.
  • Geothermal energy
    Available throughout the United States to those who will have or already have a geothermal heat pump system installed in their homes for
    space heating and cooling. See Heat Pump Water Heaters for more information.
  • Natural gas
    Available in many areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters, as well as
    combination water and space heating systems, which include tankless coil and indirect water heaters.
  • Solar energy
    Available throughout the United States -- most abundantly in the Southwest -- for solar water heaters.
  • Fuel oil
    Available in some areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage water heaters, and indirect combination water and space heating
    systems.

  • COMPARING FUEL COSTS AND WATER HEATER TYPES
If you have more than one fuel type available in your area, it's a good idea to compare fuel costs, especially if you're building a new home. Even if
you're replacing a water heater, you may find that you'll save more money in the long run if you use a different fuel or energy source.

The type of water heater you choose will also affect your water heating costs. One type of water heater may use a fuel type more efficiently than another
type of water heater. For example, an electric heat pump water heater typically is more energy efficient than an electric conventional storage water
heater. Also, an electric heat pump water heater might have lower energy costs because of its higher efficiency than a gas-fired conventional storage
water heater, even though local natural gas costs might be lower than the electricity rates.
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