24-HOUR SERVICE Monday-Saturday for all customers | Sunday service for PutmanPlus Members only after 1 pm

24-hour Service
Monday-Saturday, Sunday after 1 pm

How should you choose a hot water heater?

Some of us prefer to wake up in the morning with soft music coming from our alarm clocks, some like to open the curtains and let the sun in, and some simply prefer a strong cup of coffee. But no one we know likes to wake up to the shock of freezing water in their shower, so if this is happening to you, keep reading.

Even though water heaters don’t last forever, we don’t think about replacing it until it stops working. But since we rely on hot water for clean dishes, laundry, and hot showers, it’s easy to be hasty about choosing a new one as soon as the old one goes out. Water heaters account for 20% of a home’s utility costs, so it’s important to consider which water heater will not only last the longest, but be the best for your budget. Here are some questions to ask yourself when shopping for a new water heater for your Frederick County home.

What type of water heater do I need?

A traditional water heater is called a tank water heater and it can be powered with gas and/or electric. Tank water heaters offer a large volume of hot water that can be dispersed to your entire home. They typically keep the stored water at a temperature near 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can buy them to hold from 20-80 gallons, depending on your household size.  

A tankless water heater heats cold water with a gas burner or electric element as it passes through the water heater. These are more expensive than tank water heaters, but they use up to 30% less energy. They can be installed close to the point of use or can supply a whole house.

Hybrid water heaters use advanced heat pump technology to pull in ambient air and extract heat to warm the water.

What size water heater do I need?

You should select a water heater based on the number of people living there as well as how often you use other appliances that use hot water. If you have five people in your house who all get up and take showers in the morning, you’ll probably want at least a 50 gallon tank, which allows for 10 gallons per person. On the other hand, if you have kids who have grown up and moved out since your last hot water heater purchase, you’ll probably want to downsize into a 30 or 40 gallon tank.

What kind of warranty do I want from my hot water heater?

A water heater manufacturer who is confidence in their product will offer a longer warranty. Some offer essentially the same models with different warranties, such as 6 and 12 years. This may mean the model with a longer warranty has an extra anode, brass fittings, or a better type of tank lining. Some warranties cover parts only. Talk to your trusted Frederick County plumbing professional about the different types of water heater warranties.

How do I know what ratings to look for?

  • The Energy Factor (EF) on the water heater will determine the efficiency of the unit.
  • The First Hour Recovery Rate (FHR) or Flow rate indicates how much hot water a storage type of water heater will store and produce in the first hour of operation. The higher the rating, the more hot water you can get during peak usage times.
  • The recovery rate measure refers to how quickly the water heater can produce more hot water after the initial supply has diminished. The higher FHR number, the better.
  • Tankless water heaters are measured by flow rate. A higher number is better. Keep in mind that with tankless heaters, a lower groundwater temperature will reduce its flow rate, so you’ll want to select a model based on your location.

Who should I have install my new hot water heater?

You should only allow a licensed professional plumber to install such a vital component of your home. A licensed trained plumber is experience in working with gas, electric, water pressure, and high temperatures. You can also bet that your water heater’s warranty will specify that it is valid only when installed by a professional.

Call Putman Plumbing for Help When Choosing Your New Hot Water Heater

We are licensed, insured, experienced plumbers who can help you choose the best hot water heater for your home and we can install it right away for you. Just give us a call!