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5 Things to Think About When Buying a New Water Heater

Shower head

Whether you’re replacing your home’s old water heater or looking for one for the new home you’re building, you have a lot to consider and decide.

It’s easy to just go with what you already had, or with what the builder is recommending. But if you’re replacing your water heater, a lot has probably changed since you bought your last one. Here’s one example:

If you have an old tank water heater that is currently inside a closet, alcove or other tight space, you may not be able to replace it with a new tank water heater. That’s because the water heaters being manufactured today have increased at least two inches in both height and width because of new water heating efficiency standards put into place by the U.S. Department of Energy as few years ago.

If this is an issue in your home, you can overcome these space constraints by choosing a propane tankless water heater, a compact unit that hangs right on a wall. Tankless water heaters eliminate standby energy losses that occur in storage tank systems because they only heat water on demand.

Here are five other things to consider as you shop around for a new water heater for your Iowa home.

  1. What fuel type: Your existing water heater may be electric. And, if you’re building a new home, your builder may want you to get an electric water heater because of its low cost and ease of installation. But now is a good time to consider propane and making the switch. Propane-powered water heaters use less energy, cost less to operate and generate fewer emissions than electric water heaters.
  2. What type of water heater: The best way to get started is to complete the brief questionnaire found here. This will to determine how much water you typically use in your household. Once you complete it, you will be able to view your options, which can include condensing or non-condensing propane tankless water heaters, and conventional propane water heaters with a storage tank.
  3. The right size and capacity for your home: It may be tempting to get a larger water heater, but it could be an expensive decision as you may end up using energy and paying for fuel heating water you don’t need. In a conventional tank-style heater, capacity is the size of the tank combined with how long it takes to reheat. With tankless heaters, capacity is determined by flow rate, which means how much water can be heated instantly. Refer to the questionnaire to get started on understanding your needs in terms of size and capacity.
  4. Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is the sum of many factors like the water heater’s efficiency rating, proper sizing, proper installation, and other factors such as a conventional tank-style water heater’s heat loss rate.
  5. Total cost of ownership: There’s more to the cost of a new water heater than its purchase price. The total cost of ownership also includes the life expectancy of the water heater, fuel costs and other factors. For example, propane tankless water heaters have a higher purchase price. But you could end up having a lower total cost of ownership because of lower fuel costs and a longer life expectancy than a conventional tank water heater.

Get in touch with your local Iowa propane provider for advice and friendly assistance as you move toward greater comfort and savings with a propane water heater.


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