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Buying a Water Heater

A water heater is important for a variety of purposes around the home. Whether providing hot water for bathing, dishwashers or laundry machines, this appliance works hard all year round. A new device with the latest energy ratings can help cut bills in half or heat your shower faster than your current heater. Follow these guidelines to help you find the right water heater for your home and family.

Types of Water Heaters

Electric Water Heaters

An electric water heater draws energy as part of your home's electricity consumption. These models generally cost less than gas counterparts, don't require ventilation and offer heat quickly with a high energy factor rating.

  • Houses with an electric setup - If your home has an electric supply in a utility closet, the garage or wherever you have space, then this is your best option.
  • Ideal in small spaces - Because this water heater doesn't require ventilation, you can squeeze one into a small basement or beneath a sink without fear of it taking up much space.

Natural Gas Water Heaters

A natural gas water heater is the standard model used in most homes. Unlike an electric water heater, gas models require ventilation outdoors for safety.

  • Energy efficient - A gas water heater beats an electric model when it comes to energy conservation while still providing a dependable performance.
  • Can handle power outages - If your electricity goes out due to a snowstorm or tornado, a gas option will still be able to provide you with a hot shower.

Liquid Propane Water Heaters

If your home has special hookup requirements, a liquid propane (LP) water heater will be the best choice.

  • Fast recovery time - LP water heaters can recover from a use faster than other models. This means you can get more hot water from a smaller tank, saving energy on storing large amounts of hot water.
  • Lack of natural gas lines - An LP unit will be the best option if natural gas isn't available in your area, and serve as a reliable source to heat your water.


Browse all LP gas water heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater mounts to the wall and provides hot water only when the faucet is turned on.

  • Reduced energy waste - Since you're not having to heat a tank full of stored water, you'll expend 30 to 50% less energy than models with tanks.
  • Fuel options - Tankless models can be run on LP or natural gas, giving homeowners the option to choose what best suits their needs.
  • Space saving - With no tank, you can mount it wherever you have the space. This will free up more room for storing the things that really matter to you.


Browse all tankless water heaters

Water Heaters for Select California Markets

California has specific sustainability standards that the average water heater won't meet, so you'll need to pick up a water heater for select California markets.

  • California residents - These models have been specifically designed to meet the California state emission standards. Make sure to check your local requirements before purchase so you find the model that meets the standards required.
  • Lo-NOx burners - To further reduce green house gas emissions, many California water heaters use lo-NOx burners to cutdown on the amount of nitrogen oxide released.


Browse all California market water heaters

Features of Water Heaters

Energy efficiency

  • Consumption - Today's latest water heaters consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than older models
  • Carbon footprint - Burners and insulation have evolved to reduce their carbon footprint
  • ENERGY STARĀ®  - Many water heaters come with an ENERGY STARĀ® rating, a government standard of energy efficiency

Tank size

  • Small tanks - If there's only one to three people, you'll want a tank between 30-40 gallons.
  • Medium tanks - When you need hot water for 3-5 people, you'll want a tank that can hold 40-50 gallons.
  • Large tanks - For 6 or more people, look for a water heater with a tank that holds 60-80 gallons.

Self-cleaning abilities

  • Sediment reduction - Certain models can reduce the sediment that builds up within the tank and self-clean themselves.
  • Longevity - Self-cleaning abilities provide a greater longevity since the heater won't develop problems from residue.
  • Draining - Even if you have a self-cleaning model, you'll want to drain two to five gallons out of your tank every few years.

User features

  • Thermostats - With easy-to-read thermostats, you can make adjustments to your water heater when needed
  • Pilot lights - A light-emitting diode (LED) pilot light will confirm that a unit is in operation and working correctly
  • Auto shut-off - An automatic shut-off valve can be used to prevent fires in case of any surge in gas flow