When determining what kind of water heater to buy and install, many factors should govern your decision.
Here are several questions to consider when making a purchase:
If you are moving into an existing home, how is the house wired?
Is there an incoming gas line for a water heater?
What type of heater did the previous owner have?
Do you have an aversion to gas? To propane?
How long will you stay in your residence?
Long enough to recoup a large initial investment in a gas heater or a hybrid model?
How much do you care about the environment?
Enough to buy a more expensive tankless heater that has far fewer emissions than a standard heater?
As you work through the questions above, you can start reading reviews on your preferred water heater type
You should be aware that tankless water heaters, which have long been popular in Europe for their compact size and energy efficiency, are growing in market share in the U.S. That gives you more choices than ever as you choose a water heater.
Tank models are great for large homes, and manufacturers are making energy-efficient models. Tankless heaters can be used for smaller applications in most cases, and do not heat water unless water is running. They can be expensive to install, and you need to make sure that you have the right wiring and gas lines to put them in place.
Hybrid heaters and heat pump heaters are another innovation that has drawn the attention of many consumers and reviewers.
Buying a water heater is like buying other appliances: in many cases, the more expensive models will save you money down the road. You need to decide if you will take a long- or short-term view when deciding what type of heater to buy.
For reviews on the different types of water heaters, please click the appropriate category.
For more information on the subject, if you’re not sure what type of watere heater to buy, please read our information pages first.