If your old water heater is failing, it may not be worth the expense to repair it. Buying a new heater could be a better investment. That gives you a chance to upgrade to a tankless model or a more energy efficient tank. Here are some suggestions for buying a new water heater.
Look For Energy Efficient Tanks
A traditional storage-type water heater always keeps water heated so it's ready when you want it. That means it needs to store the hot water even if you don't use it for hours at a time. When the water cools down, the heater kicks on to warm it back up again. This can waste quite a bit of energy if the tank you buy isn't energy efficient. Today, tanks are made with superior insulation when compared to the tanks on the market a few decades ago. You may notice a difference in your electric bill if you buy a new storage heater. Just be sure to buy one that is Energy Star rated and that is well insulated.
Upgrade To A Tankless Heater
If it's time to buy a new water heater anyway, you may want to make the switch to a tankless model. These don't store water in a tank. Instead, the water is heated on demand as it flows over hot coils. This makes them more energy efficient. Plus, you don't have to worry about running out of hot water like you do if your family drains a storage tank by taking several hot showers in a row. You'll always have hot water when you need it, but you have to factor in the flow rate. While your family can take several showers in a row without depleting the hot water, you may run into problems if your family takes multiple showers at the same time in different bathrooms. If you consider buying a tankless heater, talk to your contractor for help calculating the perfect size to get for your family and lifestyle. Since these water heaters don't take up much room, you can install more than one or combine one with a small tank heater if your family has a large demand for hot water.
Consider Solar Power
If you've always wished you could use more solar power in your home, then a water heater is a good place to start. The units are more expensive to buy, but once they're installed, they operate for free since they use power from the sun. You'll need to have solar panels installed on your roof, so be sure to check local codes and HOA regulations first. Plus, consider the solar potential for your home. You can use a solar water heater in all climates as there are models for climates above freezing temperatures and models for colder areas. However, the sun has to reach the panels for several hours each day. If there are buildings nearby or trees that provide too much shade near your home, then solar power isn't an option you can use.
No matter what type of heater you buy, let a professional calculate the correct size and install it for you properly. That way you can be sure you'll get the best service from your new heater without wasting energy that drives up your power bill. Click here for more information.