Electric water heaters are a popular and efficient way to heat water in your home. They provide hot water quickly and are easy to install and maintain. If you are considering buying an electric water heater, there are several factors you should consider to ensure that you get the best one for your needs. In this ultimate guide, we will go over everything you need to know about buying the best electric water heater.
- Determine Your Hot Water Needs
The first step in buying an electric water heater is to determine your hot water needs. This will depend on the size of your household, how much hot water you use on a daily basis, and your water usage habits. To calculate your hot water needs, you can use the following formula:
(Number of people in your household) x (Average gallons of hot water used per person per day) = Total gallons of hot water needed per day
For example, if you have a household of four people and each person uses an average of 20 gallons of hot water per day, you would need a total of 80 gallons of hot water per day.
- Choose the Right Size
Once you have determined your hot water needs, you can choose the right size electric water heater. Electric water heaters are available in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from 20 to 120 gallons. It is important to choose a water heater that is the right size for your needs. If you choose a water heater that is too small, you may run out of hot water quickly. If you choose a water heater that is too large, you may end up wasting energy and money.
To choose the right size electric water heater, you can use the following guidelines:
- For a household of 1-2 people, a 30-40 gallon water heater should be sufficient.
- For a household of 2-3 people, a 40-50 gallon water heater should be sufficient.
- For a household of 3-4 people, a 50-60 gallon water heater should be sufficient.
- For a household of 5 or more people, a 60-80 gallon water heater should be sufficient.
Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines and your hot water needs may vary depending on your individual circumstances.
- Consider the Recovery Rate
The recovery rate is the amount of hot water the water heater can produce in one hour. It is an important factor to consider when buying an electric water heater because it determines how quickly the water heater can heat up more water after the initial hot water has been used up.
To calculate the recovery rate, you can use the following formula:
(Tank capacity) / (Recovery time in hours) = Recovery rate in gallons per hour
For example, if you have a 50-gallon water heater with a recovery time of 1 hour, the recovery rate would be 50 gallons per hour.
- Look for Energy Efficiency
Electric water heaters can be expensive to operate, so it is important to look for models that are energy efficient. Look for water heaters that have an Energy Star rating, which means they meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
You can also look for water heaters that have a high Energy Factor (EF) rating. The EF rating measures the efficiency of the water heater by comparing the amount of hot water produced to the amount of energy used. The higher the EF rating, the more energy efficient the water heater is.
- Consider the Type of Tank
Electric water heaters are available in two types of tanks: traditional tanks and tankless tanks. Traditional tanks store hot water in a large tank and heat it up as needed. Tankless tanks, on the other hand, heat water up as it flows through the unit, eliminating the need for a storage tank.
Traditional tanks are generally less expensive than tankless tanks, but they can be less energy-efficient since they continuously heat the water in the tank, even when it’s not being used. Tankless tanks are more energy-efficient since they only heat the water as it’s needed, but they can be more expensive upfront.
When considering the type of tank, you should also consider the space you have available for installation. Traditional tanks are generally larger and require more space, while tankless tanks are smaller and can be installed in tighter spaces.
- Look for Additional Features
Electric water heaters can come with additional features that can improve their performance and convenience. Here are some features to consider:
- Digital displays: Some water heaters have digital displays that show the current water temperature and other information.
- Timers: Timers allow you to schedule when the water heater turns on and off, which can help you save energy and money.
- Self-cleaning: Some water heaters have self-cleaning features that help prevent sediment buildup in the tank, which can prolong the life of the unit.
- Wi-Fi connectivity: Some water heaters can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control the unit from your smartphone or tablet.
- Consider the Warranty
Finally, it is important to consider the warranty when buying an electric water heater. Look for a warranty that covers both parts and labor for at least 10 years. Some manufacturers offer longer warranties, so be sure to read the fine print and understand what is covered and for how long.
Buying an electric water heater can be a significant investment, so it’s important to do your research and choose the right one for your needs. Consider your hot water needs, choose the right size and recovery rate, look for energy efficiency and additional features, and consider the warranty. With these factors in mind, you can find the best electric water heater for your home and enjoy reliable and efficient hot water for years to come.