When most people think about a water heater, they think about the storage tank water heater style. This is the most common water heater in homes in the US and that includes San Diego. There are many different models of storage tank water heaters and most models fall into one of these categories:
- Natural Gas
- Tall, Medium or Short
Most people rarely ever think about their water heater until they lose their hot water or the tank starts to leak. Either way, they soon realize that there are many choices to be made about the water heater. These options for water heating products ranging from traditional storage tank water heaters, solar systems, high efficiency condensing and tankless units. Whatever your choice is, it’s always important to know that you are purchasing the best product for your money. Traditional storage tank water heaters are manufactured to high safety, energy and air quality standards these days, a few key things to look for when purchasing a new water heater include;
- Energy Rating
- FHR (First Hour Rating)
In our experience, it is important that the company that installs your water also provide the warranty service. The manufacturer will always honor the warranty, but you need to have a reliable company that will diagnose and service the water heater in the event there is an issue within the warranty period. Not all companies service the brands they install, prior to purchasing a unit ask who will provide service if there is a problem within the warranty period. Water Heaters Only, Inc always backs the warranty on the units we install. Our customers are too important for us to refer them to a different service company for warranty work after the installation is complete.
Gas storage tank water heaters have an energy rating between .54 and .62 depending on the internal insulation and gallon capacity. Gas water heaters with a .62 rating are considered energy efficient and will save a small amount on annual operating costs, but the cost of the unit is only slightly more. These tanks usually have more insulation and are wider, they may not fit in all installation applications, but it’s worth it to ask if they are available and will fit in your home.
Electric storage tank water heaters have an energy rating between .90 and .94 depending on the internal insulation and gallon capacity. Electric water heaters are very efficient, but due to electricity costing more than gas, an electric water heater costs more to operate than a gas unit. If you have an electric water heater installed outside you can add a blanket to help save a small amount on the operating costs. Electric water heaters are available in tall, medium and short models and are usually easier to install because they do not require a flue vent system or gas hook up.
FHR (first hour rating)
The first hour rating on a water heater tells you how much hot water the tank will produce in the first hour of usage (the hot water in the tank + how much new hot water the tank will make while it’s being used). FHR can be helpful in understanding how much hot water you will have available versus how much hot water you want to be able to use. Generally units with a higher FHR have more BTU input and offer a better recovery rate. They will reheat quicker so you don’t have to wait for hot water between showers or baths. If you run out of hot water frequently it might be a good idea to see if you can increase the gallon capacity of the tank you have when it’s time for replacement.
Call (619) 222-3814 to speak with a water heater expert or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you solve your water heater needs at an affordable price.