How to Decide What Water Heater You need for a Single-Family Home

There are several factors to consider when looking for a replacement water heater. First, it’s important to narrow your list of options. For example, if you live in a temperate or chilly climate, a heat pump water heater might not be an option, unless it’s a hybrid. Likewise, a solar or condensing water heater is only possible if you have solar panels or a gas-powered heating system, respectively.

This leaves two basic options for most homeowners: a tankless or storage water heater. The upfront cost of installing a tankless water heater is often greater than installing a storage water heater. However, a tankless heater adapts better to your unique needs and may lower your energy costs.

Before you choose a water heater, consider the needs of your household. A storage heater may make more sense if many fixtures draw hot water simultaneously. If you buy a storage water heater, the size of the reservoir is essential. Generally, a 40-gallon tank is adequate for two to three people, while four or five residents need around 50 gallons of capacity. If there are six or more people in your home, try to find the largest tank possible to prevent shortages.

Your home’s water heater is a vital asset that provides hot showers, powers your dishwasher, and makes it possible to wash your laundry. With all this said, it’s important to choose the right model. At Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co., we have over 30 years of experience in helping customers find the suitable water heaters for their homes. Keep reading to learn about the five best water heaters for single-family homes.

Types of Water Heaters and Their Features

Best Water Heaters for single family homes

These are the five main types of water heaters:

Storage Water Heaters

Storage water heaters have been around for a long time and are still some of the most common. They are either gas or electric-powered and work by heating water and storing it in a large tank. This provides a ready reservoir of hot water when required.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters use external air introduced with a pump to heat water. One of the best features of these heaters is that they can seriously reduce energy costs. On the other hand, they are only ideal in places that have a relatively stable and warm exterior temperature.

Tankless Water Heaters

As the name suggests, tankless water heaters don’t have a reservoir. These heaters use a heating element linked to the water supply to warm water on demand. This means that the water is only heated when needed, often leading to greater energy efficiency.

Condensing Water Heaters

Condensing water heaters heat water using your home’s gas heating system exhaust. This makes a separate gas supply unnecessary, which can save you money. As you might imagine, these systems are only usable in homes with a central gas heating unit.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters are a newer design that draws power from a home’s solar panels. If your home has a solar energy supply, this might be inexpensive to heat water, although performance will depend on your local weather.

Our Favorite Water Heaters

Before choosing a water heater, create a budget and find a product that fits within it. It’s also helpful to determine whether you prefer to save money upfront or reduce your energy bills long-term. If you’re replacing an old heater, try to find a new one that uses the same power source, as this can make installation cheaper. We’ve previously detailed some of the best water heaters we provide and their pricing. Below we briefly go through the most popular and one of our favorite tankless options in the Stiebl Eltron Tankless.

Rheem Performance Platinum 50-Gallon Tall 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Tank Water Heater

This is a reliable and efficient option that offers plenty of hot water storage for a household of three to five people. If your old water heater uses gas, this might be just the ticket when it’s time to replace it. Like Rheem’s other products, it’s reasonably priced and comes with a six, nine, or 12-year warranty.

Rheem Performance 75-Gallon Tall 76,000 BTU Natural Gas Tank Water Heater

If you live in a home with more than five people, it’s important to get a water heater with a lot of capacity. Rheem’s Performance 75-gallon tank water heater is a perfect choice and delivers fantastic efficiency in an environmentally friendly package. It features the same warranty options as other Rheem products and hooks up easily to natural gas systems.

Rheem Performance Platinum 50 Gal. 10-Year Hybrid High-Efficiency Smart Tank Electric Water Heater

This is another environmentally conscious water heater that offers a mix of heat pump technology and traditional heating units. It features built-in Wi-Fi that allows it to monitor and control its output, even when you’re not there. It provides plenty of capacity for up to five residents and can provide serious savings over the course of a year.

Stiebl Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater

This compact water heater might be the right choice if you decide to go the tankless route. It can provide up to five gallons of hot water per minute and includes technology that allows it to make slight adjustments when demand exceeds supply. Additionally, the Stiebl Eltron heater is only 20 by 20 inches and uses about 15 to 20% less energy than other water heaters.

That’s a quick overview of some of the top water heaters for single-family homes. If you’re looking for a water heater in the Chicago area and still have questions, feel free to contact us. If you want to know what water heaters we currently have in stock, you can also call us at 773-777-2670.

Photo Credit: Water Heater Installation by Phyxter Home Services is licensed with CC BY 2.0