If you’re doing an extensive remodel on your home, you’re probably focused on putting in a new kitchen and bathroom, knocking down walls, and doing other major work. However, a property renovation is also an excellent time to update other fixtures and fittings in the home, including plumbing-related items.
It especially pays to consider installing a brand new water heater. This is often necessary if you’re doing up an old home that has all its original equipment. In this day and age, though, there are so many different styles and brands of units to choose from that it can all be somewhat daunting. If you follow a few tips, though, you should find the perfect product for your property.
Know Your Goals
First, know your goals for getting a new water heater. While the main goal is evident, there’s more to think about. For instance, will you be living in the home with your large family and therefore need a substantial water heater that can do an adequate job for your needs, or are you planning to sell the property as soon as you’re finished with the remodel work? If the latter, you might only need to opt for a small and cost-friendly water heater.
Also, be clear about your goals when it comes to things like your preferred brand(s), the warranty you get on the product, and the water rating of the system you choose. If energy efficiency and cutting power costs are essential to you, look for the heater with the best grade.
Other considerations to look at include the recovery efficiency of products (how efficiently heat is applied to the water), the standby loss (the percentage of heat loss per hour on stored water) and the cycling loss (how much heat is lost as water circulates through the unit).
Set a Budget
Of course, price is always a vital element, too. Set a budget for this purchase before you start looking at units so that you don’t end up spending more than you can comfortably afford. When you’re in the midst of a busy, stressful renovation you might be tempted to throw caution to the wind and buy whichever water heater a contractor or salesperson recommends, to tick off the job and move onto the next thing. This isn’t going to be the best plan long-term, though.
By creating a budget before you begin the process, you’ll know what you can genuinely afford to spend and only look at products within that range. Doing this will save you time and energy in the end, as well as money.
The big consideration when buying a new water heater is which type to buy. There are not only a lot of brands on the market now, but quite a variety when it comes to styles, too. For example, one of the most popular options these days is space-friendly tankless water heaters. Also known as on-demand water heaters, these products heat water by electricity or gas only when it’s needed. The water flows through, without the need for a tank.
Some of the benefits of this type of heater are that it doesn’t waste energy heating water 24 hours per day, you don’t run out of hot water, and it’s small and hangs on the wall, meaning you free up floor space, both physically and visually. There is a lag time of a few seconds for the water to heat to the set temperature, though, so keep this in mind.
Over the years, the most common system used in homes has been a standard storage tank heater. With this design, water is kept heated continuously by electricity, oil, propane or natural gas, and drawn out of the top of the tank when a faucet is turned on for hot water. These products tend to be lower-cost and come in a wide variety of sizes, yet they do waste a lot of energy.
A more eco-friendly option is the solar water heater, where water circulates from a tank through a solar collector heated by the sun. These have zero or low energy costs, which helps to pay for the unit over time; however, they do tend to be relatively expensive upfront, and the collector must stand in full sun. With these water heaters, there’s typically the need for a conventional water heater on hand for backup, to bring the water up to the desired temperature if the solar component doesn’t work effectively on some days.
Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from place to place. These products can be used purely to heat water or in combination with heating and cooling systems. While they have low operating costs, they don’t tend to operate effectively in cold climates.
Buying a new water heater is a big decision and can be costly, so do it once and get it right. Think about the details listed above, and you should soon find something that suits your needs. Just make sure you get assistance when installing a unit, or hire a professional to do the work for you.