Your water heater is an important part of your home, especially if you have a family. Between cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, washing clothes, washing hands, and all the other things you use hot water for throughout the day, knowing that your water heater can handle your needs is vital. If your trusty old water heater has seen better days, it may be time to look for a replacement. Chances are a lot has changed in water heaters since yours was installed, though, so here are some of the more recent advancements in water heaters that you should know about.
Water heaters are a lot more efficient than they used to be, which is good news for your wallet. Because of updates to efficiency standards, smaller water heaters tend to be around 4 percent more efficient, and large water heaters can be up to 25 to 50 percent more efficient. That means less time and energy spent heating water up, more hot water available at any given time, and possibly a significant savings when it comes to how much you spend each year on keeping hot water available in your home.
As a result of the improved efficiency of water heaters, most water heater models feature more insulation than older water heaters did. In some cases this isn’t really noticeable, since more efficient insulation can be used to keep size differences minimal. Depending on how old your old water heater is, though, you may find that new water heater models are simply larger and thicker than your current one is. This may not be a big deal, but if your current water heater is in a tight area without much extra room around it, then it’s definitely worth keeping this in mind.
More Tankless Options
For a long time, tankless water heaters seemed to occupy something of a niche corner of the market. In recent years, though, they have become much more common in homes, and more manufacturers are offering tankless options. Since these water heaters don’t feature a large tank that has to keep water hot, a tankless water heater might be worth considering if you have a limited amount of space in your home.
Hybrid Water Heaters
If you want to save space but are worried about going completely tankless, a hybrid water heater might be right for you. These water heaters use a small tank of water that’s kept hot, and also feature heating technology similar to tankless heaters to supply additional hot water beyond what the tank offers. This lets you save space, time, and money, since the small tank heats faster than a large tank would and ensures that you won’t have any unfortunate lapses that might occur if you have more demand than a tankless heater can manage.
Smart Water Heaters
As with many home appliances, water heaters are available with a number of smart options as well. You can control these water heaters from your smartphone, performing actions such as adjusting water temperatures and even turning the heater off and on without having to touch the water heater itself. On top of this, many smart water heaters also feature options such as Vacation Mode which reduces water temperatures while you’re away to save on water heating costs. You may even be able to sync this with other smart home features to set Vacation Mode as part of a larger overall routine for when you’re at work, traveling, or otherwise away from the house for more than a few hours.
Choosing a New Water Heater
Picking the right water heater for your home can be a challenge. With the options above, see which on best fits your needs.