Water Heater Buying Guide

Water Heater Buying Guide

Is your water heater getting old or showing signs of wearing out? Start shopping for a new unit today so you can replace it before it fails. This water heater buying guide has all the information you need to select the best water heater for your San Jose home.

Fuel Source

Natural gas is the most popular fuel for water heaters. It’s inexpensive, efficient, and faster at heating a tankful of water than electricity. In general, you should only consider an electric water heater if it’s your only option, or it’s impossible to install a vent for a natural gas appliance. Solar-powered heat pump water heaters are a more economical choice for powering the appliance with electricity.

Other fuel source options include propane, kerosene, oil, and wood. However, these are only recommended for homes in remote locations without natural gas pipes or a connection to the electrical grid.

Size and Capacity

A water heater’s capacity is a combination of storage tank size and recovery time. It’s important to match the water heater’s capacity to your family’s needs to ensure you have enough hot water without overpaying on water heating bills. Sizing is often based on the number of bathrooms, but you should also consider how many residents and water-using appliances your home has.

The minimum recommended size for a one-bathroom house is 30 to 40 gallons. Two- to three-bathroom homes should have a 50-gallon gas heater or 66- to 80-gallon electric model (due to its longer recovery time). Large four-bathroom homes need a 75-gallon-or-larger gas heater or a 120-gallon electric heater.

Efficiency Rating

New federal standards went into effect in 2015, requiring new water heaters to have higher efficiency ratings. This change has cut water heating bills for homeowners by 25 to 50 percent, depending on usage.

Still, you may want to select a model rated higher than the minimum. Look for a water heater with the Energy Star logo, signifying that this unit goes above and beyond the mandated requirements to save you even more on your water heating costs.

Tank or Tankless

Most US homes still have storage tank water heaters, but going tankless could be a smart move. Because they create hot water on demand, tankless units use 30 to 50 percent less energy. They also provide an endless supply of hot water and last about twice as long as traditional tanks. Just remember, tankless water heaters cost more upfront, have special venting requirements, and may struggle to handle multiple hot water activities simultaneously.

Mike Counsil Plumbing has cost-effective water heater replacement options designed to help you enjoy the latest water heating technology. We offer straightforward, upfront prices so you know the details of your investment before you commit to it. We also provide ongoing water heater services to keep your appliance up and running for the next decade or more.

To learn more about replacing your water heater, or to request an installation estimate, please contact Mike Counsil Plumbing in San Jose today.


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