Water heater technology has really evolved over the years and it just keeps changing. That’s why it’s really important to stay on top of what’s available and assess whether or not the added bells and whistles that come with the high-tech water tanks are really worth it.
Though we’ve made some progress when it comes to technology and efficiency, the key is to strike a balance between performance, efficiency and budget.
Below we’ve outlined what to look for when shopping for a new hot water tank and we’ve provided a brief description of various tank types.
Check the Ratings
Before you buy a new hot water tank, you’ll want to check the ratings. Look out for the energy factor and recovery rate or flow rate if you’re going tankless
The energy factor (EF) outlines just how efficient the unit is. An EF rating is pretty simple to interpret – the higher the number, the more efficient the unit is.
Same goes for reading the recovery rate – the higher the number, the more hot water you’ll get in the first hour after opening the spigot.
If you’re going with a tankless water heater, you’ll want to keep in mind that lower groundwater temperatures can sometimes cut the heater’s flow rate by half. Shop around for one that will provide the flow rate you desire based on incoming winter water temperatures.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are small and can be mounted on a wall because they don’t have a storage tank for hot water. They are gas operated and don’t require a special vent.
Tankless units will only heat water when you need it. A flow sensor detects when you open the faucet. The heater measures the incoming water temperature and calculates how quickly the water should flow past the burners. So, if the incoming water is 25 degrees C, the heater will throttle back the flow rate by almost half.
Hybrid Electric Heat-Pump Water Heater
This type of water heater works by pulling heat out of the surrounding air and pumping it into the storage tank. This type is recommended only if you live in a very warm climate (as warm through the year as Ontario gets in July).
Electric heat pumps come with back-up heating coils for periods of high demand.
Condensing Water Heater
This type of water heater is considered to be similarly efficient as a standard gas water heater. Instead of heating air, they heat water. They exhaust to the outside through a PVC pipe.
Because they are so comparable to a gas water heater, we don’t stock them.
Conventional Gas Water Heater
Although these are not as energy efficient as, say, a tankless water heater, they are a simple solution if you’re looking for something with less upfront cost and good reliability.
Want to find the perfect new hot water tank for your home? We’ve been helping Oakville homeowners outfit their space with durable tanks for years and are a trusted source for when it comes to maintenance.
Give us a call and we’ll help you decide on what hot water tank is best for you.