While we’d all love to have the latest and greatest gadgets and appliances, we also have to take into consideration budgetary constraints. While it’s easy to compare hot water heater installation and purchase prices, it’s more difficult to calculate long term costs. When buying a new water heater, you want to consider the following cost factors:
- How much it will cost to purchase and install the new hot water heater
- How much it will cost to run the hot water heater (energy costs)
- How long the hot water heater will last (cost of replacing it with a new one)
In this article, we’ll address two out of three of these cost issues: energy costs and longevity of the hot water heater. Then you can talk to a plumber about the cost to purchase and install various types of water heaters, and when you do, you’ll be equipped with knowledge about the other costs involved, which will help you make the most sensible decision possible.
Estimating Energy Costs of a Hot Water Heater
The typical American family of three people uses 64.3 gallons of hot water a day. You’ll want to multiply out how much hot water you think your family uses per day and then calculate out your estimated energy costs of various water heater models.
You can do this noting the energy factor of the water heater model in question (look for the EF), the fuel type (gas or electric), and the cost of the fuel needed. With these three pieces of information, you can determine which make and model will deliver the best energy savings.
If you hate math, you’ll want to remember two things about water heater energy costs.
- In general, tankless water heaters are about 50% more energy efficient than traditional hot water heaters, meaning you can save up to 50% on this part of the energy costs if you go with a tankless water heater.
- Another general rule of thumb is that gas-powered hot water heaters are typically much more energy efficient than electric-powered hot water heaters.
The question is this: how much will that gas-powered tankless hot water heater save you in energy costs? That will depend on which model you are comparing it to. Your plumber can help you figure out approximately how much you’ll save when comparing makes and models.
Estimating Longevity of a Hot Water Heater
Another factor to consider when looking at the cost of a new hot water heater is how long the water heater is expected to last. If you buy a traditional hot water heater, and you maintain it annually, you can expect to get 12-15 years of service from the heater. If you buy a tankless water heater, you can expect to get 20 years of service from the heater. It’s important to factor this into your buying decision.
Still Unsure What Hot Water Heater Is Best For You?
Most people need the guidance of a professional when choosing a new water heater. Here at ER Plumbing, we know hot water heaters, and we promise to give you a fair estimate of what hot water heater will best suit your budget and needs.
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