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How to Choose the Right Water Heater for Your Home

Selecting the right water heater for your home is a crucial decision that can impact your comfort, energy costs, and overall satisfaction. With various models available in the market, it’s essential to understand your needs and the different types of water heaters to make an informed choice. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the critical factors to consider when choosing the ideal water heater for your household.

Assess Your Needs

Before diving into the different types of water heaters, you must assess your household’s hot water needs. Consider the number of people in your home, your peak hot water usage times, and any future changes, such as an increase in family members or installing additional bathrooms.

Determine Capacity

  • Family Size: The size of your family significantly influences the capacity of the water heater you’ll need.
  • Peak Usage: Identify when you use the most hot water and whether your water heater should accommodate simultaneous demands.
  • Future Expectations: If you plan on expanding your home or family, choose a model that will grow with your needs.

Types of Water Heaters

Understanding the different types of water heaters and how they operate can greatly influence your decision.

Conventional Storage Water Heaters

Conventional storage water heaters have a tank that stores hot water, ensuring that it’s available when you need it. They’re typically less expensive upfront but can be more costly to operate over time due to standby heat losses.

Tankless Water Heaters (On-Demand)

Tankless water heaters provide hot water only as needed without storing it. They are more energy-efficient than traditional models but come with a higher initial cost. These are ideal for homes with lower hot water demands.

Heat Pump Water Heaters (Hybrid)

Heat pump water heaters move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water. They can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters but may require larger upfront investments.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat water, which can significantly reduce your heating costs, especially in sunny regions. However, they often need a backup system for cloudy days and may involve substantial installation costs.

Condensing Water Heaters

Ideal for homes that utilize natural gas as their primary fuel source, condensing water heaters are highly efficient and work by capturing hot exhaust gasses that would normally be expelled outside.

Energy Efficiency

To save on energy bills and reduce environmental impact, consider the energy efficiency of the water heater.

  • Energy Factor (EF) Rating: Look for the EF rating, which indicates the water heater’s efficiency.
  • Operating Costs: Evaluate the long-term operating costs, not just the purchase price.
  • Rebates and Tax Credits: Investigate if there are any incentives for purchasing high-efficiency water heaters.

Fuel Type

Your choice of fuel can affect both the annual operation costs and the water heater’s size and energy efficiency.

  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Geothermal Energy


Choosing the right size is vital for ensuring an uninterrupted hot water supply. Consult with professionals to determine the appropriate size based on the First Hour Rating (FHR) and Gallons Per Minute (GPM) requirements for your home.


Lastly, your budget plays a significant role in choosing a water heater. Remember to consider both the initial cost and the long-term savings through reduced energy bills.

  • Upfront Costs vs. Long-Term Savings
  • Installation Expenses
  • Maintenance Costs

By considering these essential factors, you will be well-equipped to select the right water heater that meets your home’s needs while providing cost-effective and efficient performance.

Contact Us

Keith Lawson Services is an American Standard Customer Care Dealer having served the Tallahassee area for more than 44 years. We have the tools and expertise to take care of all your HVAC needs and plumbing needs.

Give us a call at 850-562-2600 or email us at We’re available 24/7/365 for emergency service. Follow us on Facebook for more helpful home tips!

While these common HVAC issues can disrupt your summer comfort, most are preventable or easily fixed with regular maintenance. To reduce the likelihood of surprises during heatwaves, schedule annual inspections with a certified HVAC technician, and perform routine upkeep tasks. Being vigilant with your system’s care will ensure a cool and worry-free summer.

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