Choosing a new hot water heater is easier than ever when you know exactly what you need to look for during the entire buying process.

Picking out a new hot water heater

Picking out a new hot water heater

Locate the best new hot water heater for your house, your heating needs and your planned budget.

Find a Water Heater

Every home needs hot water. You need it to get warm on a cold day, make sure your white clothes stay white, and help get dirt out when you're cleaning your home. If you are moving into a new home and need to upgrade the appliances or you need hot water heater repair to an existing unit, you will need to gather as much information as possible before you begin. You'll need to think about issues such as the size of the heater, the storage tank, the fuel source, the amount of space you want to dedicate to the unit, and any accessories you want to add to the water heater. You'll also want to think about issues such as hot water heater installation and any hot water heater repair efforts you will need to take into account.

Find a Water Heater

Hot Water Heater Installation

All hot water heaters can be divided into certain types. A new hot water heater will be one with a tank or what is called a tankless water heater. The tankless water heater uses coils rather than a tank to heat the water. You'll need to make sure the tankless water heater installation is done properly to avoid problems with hot water flow. Tankless water heater installation should be done by professionals. The other two types of water heaters are utility water heaters and mobile home water heaters. Utility water heaters are useful in small spaces such as a garage or a shop. A mobile home water heater is one that has been specially adapted for the needs of mobile home owners. These also may require special installation to function properly.

Hot Water Heater

Fueling the Water Heater

All hot water heaters need a fuel source to run, so you will need to decide what kind of fuel source is best for your home. Many people have an existing home heater that runs on the same fuel source as the rest of the appliances in the house. If you have natural gas in your home, your hot water heater will probably run on gas as well. You can also use electricity or a heat pump. Using electricity is less expensive than other kinds of fuels. Using natural gas to power the hot water heater is more costly but the payoff is that it is often more efficient than using electricity. You can also opt for what is known as the heat pump or hybrid source of fuel. This source means you are tapping into the energy of the air outside your home and using it to heat the water. While installation can be more expensive initially, you will likely see a payoff if you pick this method as your energy costs drop. You can buy this type of hot water heater as a freestanding unit, or you can opt to add one to an existing water heater in your home. Keep in mind that these units are also larger than standard units, so you'll need to have enough space for them to work well.

Fueling the Water Heater

Space Issues

If you don't have a lot of space in your home, you still have options. A lowboy heater is both shorter and wider than a standard water heater. This type of unit can be ideal if you don't have enough space in your basement for a standard water heater. They will hold up to 50 gallons of water at a time, making them useful if you don't need a lot of hot water each week. This works well in a vacation home that you only use during the summer, when your hot water heater needs tend to be minimal.

Accessories and Technology

The use of accessories can be invaluable when managing your hot water heater. Specific technologies, such as intuitive technology, enable you to have a water heater that will automatically adjust to the amount of water your family uses in your home. This means you'll use less energy and save money. Look for an ENERGY STAR rating on the hot water heater to make sure that the water heater is as energy efficient as possible. Although you may have to spend a little more money in advance, you will save money on your hot water heating bills. You can also use Wi-Fi technology to help monitor your hot water heater use. This can show you exactly how much that ten-minute shower each morning really costs. You can also use timers to help cut down on energy use. If you have the space, consider a hot water heater stand. The stand will keep the gas unit off the ground and decrease your risk of fire from the gas in the unit. A water heater pan will also help catch any potential overflow and keep your basement dry should something go wrong with the heater's storage unit. You can also help increase the efficiency of the heater by putting on a water heater blanket. This adds an extra layer of insulation that will help keep your hot water hot.

Water Heater Repair

If you don't want to buy a new hot water heater, you can get your existing one repaired instead. If you opt for hot water heater repair, you'll be best served with the help of a skilled technician. The tech can pinpoint the problem and identify strategies to fix it. You might need to get a new tank or new pipes. Make sure you have a detailed list of any repairs they're going to do. The list should include each item used in the repair and the amount you can expect to be charged. You will also want to be sure the hot water heater installation parts are installed correctly. Run the hot water after the repairs are completed to make sure the problems have been fully fixed.