Choosing the Best Water Heater for Your Money

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Let's say you're newly married, you've bought your first home, and the water heater needs replacing.

Or maybe you've owned your home for years, the water heater's gone out, and now you need a new one. Whatever the reason, you're shopping for a new one.

Shopping for a replacement begs the question - which type do you choose? Do you go with the one you have already? It's probably tanked.

Or, do you choose the technologically advanced variety - the tankless, on-demand water heater everyone's boasting about?

Don't navigate toward a tanked one without exploring all of your options.

Below is a brief tutorial, a little information to help you understand how beneficial a water heater can be. The information we've incorporated should help make your decision a lot easier.

Water Heater Basics

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Point of Use: Point of use models supply hot water to a specific area. So if you need a little extra hot water in the kitchen, you would install this option under the sink. Because it's tankless, it fits under the sink easily.

The same concept applies to the bathroom or the garage or any add-on that's not connected to your gas water heating system. These are ideal for areas where hot water is not available.

This water heating system is a great supplemental source, too. So if your tanked one runs out of hot water, the point of use model will pick up the slack. There's never a hot water shortage when you use a tankless water heater.

Whole House: Whole house water heating systems provide hot water to an entire household. Usually installed in a garage or closet, this unit provides an endless amount of hot water. 

You know that a tanked model is usually 30-40 gallons in size and stores hot water until you use it. In comparison, a tankless unit heats water on an as needed basis. It doesn't store it. Turn on the hot water and enjoy an instant supply for as long as you need it.

You and your family can take showers at the same time. You can run the dishwasher and launder clothes while the shower is running. The hot water won't run out and all faucets in the household are duly supplied.

How is this Possible? 

The water in your tanked water heater is warmed by a pilot light that's constantly burning. Water is stored until it's used. Once it's gone it must be reheated before more is available.

Tankless units don't store hot water. Powerful heat exchangers heat water as it passes through the system. The heat exchanger typically features either electric coils or a gas-fired burner and is activated by the flow of water.

Incoming water circulates through the heat exchanger before it's dispensed through the faucet.

Typically a point of use model is electric and a whole house unit operates on propane or natural gas. However, there are whole house models that are electric. Both are effective. The energy source you choose should depend on your use and costs.

What Makes them Better than Their Contender?

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Because tanked water heaters store hot water and heat it continuously, you're paying standby rates. Whether the water is used or not you're paying for it to be heated and stored.

Alternatively, tankless units don't, so you're not procuring standby losses. For this reason, tankless options are cost effective.

Tankless water heaters are eco-friendly, too. Because they only heat water when required, you're not burning precious energy. Today, utilizing a clean energy source is important.

If you choose to install an electric model, you're using a much cleaner energy source. Even if you opt for the gas version, know that it only heats water when it passes over the heat exchanger, so you're still conserving energy.

Another positive feature is reliability. these units will last years. Because tanked water heaters store hot water 24 hours a day, the potential to rust and erode is high. Sediment sits at the bottom which means the water dispensed isn't always clean.

On-Demand Benefits

Maintenance

All types of water heaters require regular cleaning. Calcium and lime scale build-up must be removed. If build-up occurs in either of these units the result differs.

A tankless water heating system won't dispense hot water if the build-up becomes too much. Most models feature an error code that will light up if there's a problem.

A tanked unit will leak or implode, causing severe water damage. Because there's no way to know when and if this is going to happen, you have to pay close attention and maintenance the unit often. 

Tankless units are a cleaner, efficient hot water source that won't damage your personal property.

The Perfect Upgrade

Switching from a tanked water heater to a tankless one is a good idea. They're cost effective and reliable.

You should know that because tankless units are efficient many home owners are receiving incentives for buying one. Depending on your area, you can enjoy up to $300 in tax credits. The idea is to cut back on energy use and switching to a tankless model is a great way to do it.

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