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How To Choose The Right Hot Water Heater For Your Family

Did you know that heating water is the second heaviest use of energy in your home? It’s only second to heating the whole house! In a world where energy prices are spiking and inflation is getting out of control, we thought we should take a look at what the options are for a new hot water heater solution for your home. We have consulted with one of the best plumbing companies in Langley, BC – the Langley Plumbing Company, for the content contained here.

Types of water heaters

  • Storage tank: Most people envision this when they hear the words hot water tank. They are the most common water heating solutions out there. Think of them like giant thermos, the water is heated by electricity, natural gas, propane, or in some areas heating oil. Hot water comes out the top and is replaced by cold water at the bottom when you turn the hot water tap.
  • On-Demand: Also known as a tankless system, Water is rapidly heated “on-demand” by either gas or electricity when the water flows through the unit. Pros are no need for storage and an unlimited supply of hot water – we’ll get into this in more detail below.
  • Solar: Water is heated by a solar collector that is heated by the sun. In times of darkness or low sunlight, the system is augmented by a conventional water heater.
  • Heat Pumps: Heat pumps exchange hot for cold using electricity. Heat pumps are often used for both heating and cooling by tying them into your central air conditioning.

Things to consider when choosing a water heater

So at this point, you may be wondering which system is right for you. In most cases, it’s going to be a storage or on-demand system – but you can use our guidelines below regardless of what you choose. Regardless of the water heating system you go with there are going to be the same key metrics to consider:

A.      Cost of system

B.      Cost of fuel source (i.e. gas, electricity, etc)

C.      Energy Star Rating (Canada) – or EF factor in the USA

A word on energy factor ratings as most people aren’t familiar with – governments establish EF ratings so consumers have a way of making sense of and understanding the efficiency of a given device. The higher the rating the more efficient the water heater (and thus the cheaper and more environmentally friendly it is to run). EF numbers take into account the following:

Now that you understand the technical jargon used in water heater selection, let’s examine some pros and cons of the most common heaters out there:

Pros and cons of different classes of hot water heaters:

Hot water tanks (aka Storage Heaters):

Tankless water heaters:

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