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water heater buying mistakes

Common Water Heater Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you tired of running out of hot water or dealing with high energy bills? Choosing the right water heater can solve both of these problems and more, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes when making your purchase. Unfortunately, many people make big mistakes when buying a water heater that can end up costing them in the long run.

In this article, we will outline 5 frequent water heater buying mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them. By following these guidelines, you can make an informed decision and choose the best water heater for your needs.

1. Not Considering the Size of the Water Heater

One common mistake that people make when buying a water heater is not considering the size of the unit. It’s important to choose a water heater that is well-sized for your household’s hot water needs. If the water heater is too small, it will not be able to meet the demand for hot water, leading to long wait times and running out of hot water.

This is often frustrating for you and your family, and can also lead to damage to the water heater if it’s being overworked. On the other hand, if the water heater is too large, it will be less efficient and cost more to operate.

It will also take up more space and may not be necessary for your household’s needs. To determine the right size water heater for your home, consider the number of people in your household, the size of your home, and the hot water usage patterns. You can also consult with a professional to help determine the right size for your needs.

2. Ignoring the Energy Efficiency Rating

Ignoring the energy efficiency rating is another common mistake that people make when buying a water heater. Water heaters can be a significant source of energy consumption in a home, so choosing a water heater with a high energy efficiency rating can help save money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. The energy efficiency of a water heater is measured by its energy factor (EF) or its thermal efficiency (TE).

A higher EF or TE means that the water heater is more efficient, converting more of the energy it uses into heat. Look for water heaters with the Energy Star label, which indicates that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines. You can also compare the energy efficiency ratings of different models to determine which one is the most efficient.

Keep in mind that while more efficient water heaters may have a higher upfront cost, they can save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills.

3. Not Considering the Fuel Type

Another mistake that people often make when buying a water heater is not considering the fuel type. Water heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil. Each type has its own pros and cons, and the most suitable option will depend on the availability and cost of the fuel in your area, as well as the efficiency and overall cost of the water heater.

Electric water heaters are the most affordable upfront and are easy to install, but they tend to be less energy efficient and have a shorter lifespan compared to other types.

Natural gas water heaters are more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than electric water heaters, but they require a gas line to be installed and may not be available in all areas.

Propane water heaters are similar to natural gas water heaters in terms of efficiency and lifespan, but they may be a good option for areas without a natural gas supply. They do require a propane tank, which can be more expensive to refill than natural gas.

Oil-fired water heaters are less common and may not be available in all areas. They are more expensive to operate than other types, but they may be a good option for homes that do not have access to natural gas or propane.

It’s important to consider the availability and cost of the fuel type in your area, as well as the efficiency and overall cost of the water heater before making a decision.

4. Skipping the Warranty

Skipping the warranty is another mistake that people often make when buying a water heater. Water heaters can be a significant investment, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected in case of any issues. Look for a water heater with a good warranty that covers both the tank and any components.

Tank warranties range from 6 to 12 years, and component warranties may vary. It’s also a good idea to check the manufacturer’s reputation for customer service and warranty fulfillment. A strong warranty can give you peace of mind and help protect your investment.

5. Failing to Properly Maintain the Water Heater

Failing to properly maintain the water heater is another common mistake that can lead to problems down the road. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your water heater and ensure it’s running well. This may include flushing the tank, checking and replacing the anode rod, and checking the temperature and pressure relief valve.

Flushing the tank involves draining a portion of the water from the tank to remove sediment and other particles that can build up over time. This can help improve the efficiency of the water heater and extend its lifespan.

The anode rod is a metal rod that is installed in the tank to protect it from corrosion. It attracts corrosive elements in the water, and over time it will corrode and need to be replaced. If the anode rod is not replaced, it can lead to corrosion of the tank, which can cause leaks and other problems.

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety feature that is designed to release excess pressure and prevent the tank from overheating. It’s important to check this valve regularly to ensure that it’s functioning well.

Regular maintenance can help ensure that your water heater is running efficiently and can extend its lifespan. It’s a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and to have a professional perform any necessary maintenance.

Don’t Make These Water Heater Buying Mistakes

Water heaters can be a significant investment, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right one for your needs. Avoid these common water heater buying mistakes to ensure you get the most out of your purchase. Research your options, understand your fuel source, consider a warranty, and make sure to properly maintain your water heater.

With the right approach, you can enjoy years of reliable hot water. Make an appointment with us and we’ll help you to select the right water heater for your needs.