Home Bunch - Interior Design Ideas
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Buying a new heater and hiring a hot water Sydney specialist to install it can set you back a couple of thousand dollars. Furthermore, the water heater is often the second largest contributor to a home’s utility bills (after HVAC systems). It’s by any measure a big expense so you want to make it count from the get-go.

Water heaters come in a wide range of designs, capacities, features, and prices. It’s important that you develop a checklist against which you compare the suitability of each heater model. Here are some of the things you should pay the greatest attention to.

 

Tank vs. Tankless

Traditional water heaters have a large metal tank where the hot water is stored as a reserve for whenever it’s needed. They typically have a capacity in the dozens of gallons. Due to their size, tank-style heaters are installed in the laundry room or basement.

Tankless heaters are also referred to as on-demand heaters because they only turn on when hot water is required. Since no holding tank is needed, tankless water heaters are compact. They also have a significantly longer lifespan (up to 20 years compared to 13 years or less for traditional heaters). These advantages, however, mean tankless heaters cost more.

Tank Size

If you opt for a tank-style water heater, the capacity of the storage tank can range from 20 to more than 80 gallons. The capacity that’s most suitable for your home will depend on the number of people living in the house and how much water is utilized during peak hours (such as the mornings).

That being said, it’s important to note that the size of the tank has an impact on energy efficiency. It’s a bit of a trade-off. A large storage tank means you have plenty of hot water available when needed. However, because large tanks have a bigger surface area compared to smaller tanks, they also experience a higher rate of heat loss.

Fuel Source

Water heaters can be heated using liquid propane, natural gas, oil, electricity, or even solar. Each fuel source has pros and cons. Natural gas units heat the water fast and come in a wide range of sizes. However, they require a wall or chimney vent. Liquid propane heaters not only need venting but must have a propane storage tank as well as regular fuel replenishment.

Oil heats water the fastest but there is a smaller variety of models in the market to choose from. Electric heaters are the easiest to install and don’t need any venting, but they are more expensive to run due to the energy demands.

Solar heaters rely on the sun’s energy and are, in theory, the cheapest to run. The acquisition and installation cost can be pretty steep though. Solar heaters are also ineffective during cloudy and cold days so a backup system may be needed that kicks in when the sun isn’t out.

Warranty

We previously mentioned that the lifespan of a tank-based and tankless heater is up to 13 and 20 years respectively. Nevertheless, just like any electromechanical equipment in the home, a water heater can break down just a couple of weeks, months, or years after the purchase. As long as this happens within the warranty period, then you don’t need to worry about spending on repairs.

Water heater warranties usually range from 3 to 12 years. The longer the warranty the better. Longer warranties are associated with more expensive water heater models, and these are often designed for longevity from the start which means they are less prone to common problems caused by corrosion and leaks.

Pricing

We’ve deliberately placed pricing last for the simple reason that budget considerations often cloud the ability to look at the technical factors that are crucial in making sure you’re getting value for money. As much as you must have a budget that guides your water heater shopping, make sure that you know what you are getting for the price you pay.

When evaluating the true price of a heater, you must look at both the purchase cost and the running cost. A model with an attractively low purchase price may have high operating costs. Think about the lifespan of the heater too (you can gauge that from the warranty given) so you know when to expect to return to the market for a new heater.

A good water heater can be a great investment. It lasts for a decade or two and requires minimal maintenance. By paying attention to the above factors, you’ll be on track to making sure your water heater purchase is worth it.

Inspired by this Home:

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See the full house tour: Newly-built Florida Family Home.

Builder: LunDev Custom Homes 

Interior Design: Jamie Gernert

Architect: Winter Park Design

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