How to Choose a Gas Water Heater

The Many Advantages of Choosing a Gas Water Heater

By Mark J. Donovan

Hot water heaters inevitably where out over time, so at some point in your home ownership life expect to have to go out and purchase one. Whether you’re installing a new hot water heater for the first time or replacing an existing one, it’s best to do your homework first. There a number of options available to you when choosing a hot water heater. For many, choosing a gas water heater makes a lot of sense, particularly if the home already has gas supplied to it.

For others, an oil gas fired water heater or electrical water heater may be more appropriate. This said, choosing a gas water heater is often the better choice, even if you do not have gas already piped into the home.

One of the chief advantages of choosing a gas water heater over an electrical water heater is that they are much more efficient and cost effective to operate. As a matter of fact, most Energy Star rated gas hot water heaters operate at half the cost of electrical ones. This is an extremely important point when you consider that the hot water heater is one of, if not the highest, energy user in your home.

Another advantage in choosing a gas water heater is that they heat water much faster than electrical hot water heaters. But this said, regardless of the type of hot water heater you purchase it is important to buy the right size one for your home’s needs.

Buy one too small, and it will provide inadequate hot water to the home, run much more frequently, and have a shortened lifespan. Buy one too large and you may end up using more energy than you need due to the hot water heater having to turn on periodically just to reheat the large volume of stored hot water.

As already mentioned, a gas water heater heats water faster than other types of hot water heaters. Typically a gas hot water heater can heat the water in half the time of an electric hot water heater. As a result, when there is high demand such as in the early mornings or late evenings you can be assured to be able to take a hot shower while someone else is simultaneously doing the morning dishes. Nothing could be more miserable than jumping into the shower in the morning to find the water lukewarm.

When determining the necessary size for a hot water heater, consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the home. For the average 3 bedroom home, with two bathrooms and 4 to 5 occupants, a 40 gallon gas hot water heater is usually more than adequate. If on the other hand you have a hot tub or Jacuzzi that is frequently used and/or have a number of teenagers living in the home you may need a larger 50 gallon one. On the flip side if there are only one or two occupants living in the home you can probably get away with a 30 gallon one.

If your home does not already have gas piped into it and you want to pursue the installation of a gas water heater, check with local gas companies to see how much it would cost to have gas brought into your home.

You may be surprised how little it will cost you for the installation. Keep in mind, once the gas is installed, the gas supplier knows he has a customer for a very long time. As a result, they often provide installation of gas for a small cost.

So regardless of what size gas water heater you choose, you won’t go wrong on reducing home energy costs, burning cleaner fuel, and ensuring fast delivery of hot water.

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