A quarter of your home’s energy use in Easton, MD, goes toward heating water. Choosing an energy-efficient water heater is important to keep your utility bills low. Four important factors when selecting a water heater are fuel source, indirect or direct firing, storage capacity and the EF rating.
GAS FUEL SOURCE
Gas water heaters have low operational costs and are energy efficient. They tend to have a high first-hour rating, too. This shows the number of gallons it can produce within an hour on a full tank.
However, they may have a higher initial cost than other hot water heaters in Easton, MD. When it comes to choosing a fuel source for your hot water heater, you’ll usually find it most economical to stick to your home’s current fuel. Gas hot water heaters require a gas line and venting configuration.
OIL FUEL SOURCE
If you have a large household, then an oil hot water heater may be the best choice. It heats water three to four times faster than the gas type. When you have a lot of people living in your house, you want to ensure that hot water is always available.
A drawback of fuel-oil water heaters is that they have a shorter lifespan than gas water heaters. Their oil assembly is more complex, so they’re more susceptible to repair needs. They also require a large, underground holding tank for the fuel oil.
INDIRECT VS. DIRECT HOT WATER HEATERS
Hot water heaters are either direct-fired or indirect fired. Direct hot water heaters heat the water with a flame or electrical coil. Indirect hot water heaters draw their hot water from the overflow water from a boiler.
If your home uses a boiler and radiators for heating during the fall and winter, then you may find an indirect hot water heater to be the right choice. The combination of an indirect hot water heater and a boiler often saves money on operational costs.
Another benefit you’ll enjoy with an indirect hot water heater is a longer warranty compared to that of a direct-fired model. Their warranties often keep you covered for up to 20 years. The typical water heater warranty is 3–12 years.
In general, a water heater with a longer warranty tends to heat water faster due to having larger elements and thicker insulation.
Direct hot water heaters are great choices when you have a different type of heating system in your home. We have both direct and indirect models available. You can discuss which is best for your home with one of our team members.
When choosing a new hot water heater, you should consider how much your household will change over the next 10 years. Will the number of people living in the house stay the same? You can get a tank of similar capacity in this situation as long as you don’t have problems with running out of hot water.
Do you plan on having kids or adding other new people to your household? You will want to choose a capacity that can handle the maximum number of people you expect will live in your home by the end of its lifespan. This will prevent the problem of frequently running out of hot water.
A 40-gallon water heater is suitable for a four-person household. You should add 10 more gallons for each additional member of the household.
You can also choose an on-demand water heater, which heats water only when someone needs to run it. These water heaters take up considerably less space and save on monthly utility bills, but they also have a higher purchase and installation cost.
You need to check the EF (energy factor) to know how energy efficient a water heater is. The higher the EF, the more energy efficient it is. To calculate the EF, regulators divide the useful energy produced by the water heater by the amount of energy used to heat it.
When you’re in search of an energy-efficient water heater, remember that fuel costs also matter. Electricity is three to five times more expensive than gas, so gas water heaters of the same EF are less expensive to operate because the fuel is significantly cheaper. We can help you estimate the operational costs of different water heaters for your household.