C:UserssapozhaDesktopWater-Heater-Conundrum.jpg

When choosing a water heater for your home, you might be puzzled by a variety of alternatives – Gas vs Electric, Tankless vs Storage Tank. This guide should make it easier to make up your mind.

Keep in mind that a water heater will probably be the third largest energy consumer in your home – so pick a system that will meet your water heating needs while still conserving energy.

Electric vs Gas

Electric
Electric   
  Gas Propane
Gas 
  • Usually cost less to buy than gas water heaters
  • Easy maintenance
  • Do not require combustibles or venting
  • Water heats quickly
  • High energy factor rating
  • Require a  larger initial investment, but generally cost less to operate
  • Outdoor venting is a must for safety reasons
  • Increased Safety – Units with sealed combustion or power venting
  • Tank-style units are not affected by power outages

Tankless vs Storage Tank

Storage Tank*

Storage Tank
Heated water is stored continuously

  • Cost-effective
  • Good for fixed, high-use demands
  • Capacity: 20 to 60 gallons
  • Efficiency differs between fuel sources, models and brands
Tankless*

Tankless
Cold water is heated with a gas burner or electric element as it goes through the water heater

  • Larger initial investment
  • Great option for part-time occupied houses
  • Can be hung on the wall , which frees up floor space
  • Constant hot water supply
  • Decreases energy use by as much as 30%
  • Venting may be needed
  • Choose between:  1. Whole House – One large unit , or 2. Point of Use – Separate units where hot water is needed

 

Capacity

It’s essential to pick a hot water heater that keeps up with your household’s hot water demands.  A water heater that’s undersized will have to work harder and have a much shorter lifetime.

Storage Tank

The capacity is determined by the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in your residence.

Water Heater Capacity

                   

Num Bathrooms

1 – 1.5

 

 

2 – 2.5     3 – 3.5      

Num Bedrooms

1

2

3

2

3

4

5

3

4

5

Min Tank Size

20

30

40

50

50

50

60

50

60

60

Tankless

This type of water heater heats the water directly without the need to store water in a tank. To gauge the size of the tankless water heater you need for your home, you need to determine how much hot water you would require to use at one time. Be  careful of scenarios like running your washer while taking a shower, which may deplete  a small water heater.

Know Hows

  • Make sure there’s enough space in your basement or attic for the water heater to fit
  • A gas unit may require a venting kit
  • You should be fine with setting your water heater to 60°C/140°F
  • To remove residue – you need to flush your water heater once a year