By Grainger Editorial Staff 6/19/20
Choosing the right water heater depends on a number of factors, including size, fuel and the amount of hot water required. This critical piece of equipment hides in closets and maintenance rooms, but can be responsible for over 15 percent of your energy bill, according to Energy Star. Water heaters need to balance efficiency and volume, whether you select a gas or an electric model. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), standard tank water heaters can provide large quantities of hot water, but can add to energy costs. Tankless water heaters only heat the water you use, cutting energy use, but it’s limited volume of on-demand hot water is lower than what some households may need. Finding the best option for your facility depends on your demand, your desired energy savings and your budget.
Also known as storage tank water heaters, these heaters have become the standard in residential and commercial spaces. Water in the tank is regularly heated up to provide a large volume of hot water at all times. According to the DOE, storage tank water heaters can store between 20-80 gallons of hot water, and feature safety equipment such as pressure-relief valves that need to be inspected periodically. Tank water heaters come in electric and gas versions, and can feature additional insulation and higher-efficiency burners to reduce energy use.
Tankless water heaters are wall-mounted devices that heat water on demand rather than storing a large volume of preheated water. According to the DOE, tankless water heaters provide 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. Unlike traditional or storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters do not store large volumes of water. Instead, they incorporate heating coils that rapidly heat water on demand and then deliver that hot water—as long as water and power are available. Like standard water heaters, tankless water heaters come in electric and gas models.
Tankless water heaters tend to be more expensive than storage tank water heaters, but are more energy-efficient, saving you money over time. Tankless water heaters can outlive a standard water heater almost twofold—up to over 20 years, according to DOE estimates.
Water heaters come in a variety of sizes, usually based on how much hot water throughput you need. According to the DOE, several factors can help you determine the size of water heater you'll need.
Water heaters come in both gas and electric models, with the main differences depending on your budget, existing energy hookups, sustainability goals and local utility costs. When choosing a water heater, whether you decide on tankless or tanked, according to the DOE, there are several factors to consider:
Now that you know more about the types of water heaters available and how to choose the right size, you can find the ideal one for your facility.
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.