Choosing a Water Heater

When choosing a water heater, the first decision to make is whether to go with a traditional tank water heater or a newer innovation, like a tankless water heater or a hybrid electric heat pump. Careful consideration of your household size, hot water needs, space requirements, and fuel source will help you determine which water heater is best.

Rheem Professional Prestige Series

If you want a high efficiency tankless gas water heater, take a look at the Rheem® Professional Prestige Series Tankless Condensing water heater. Boasting ENERGY STAR® certification and qualifying for LEED points, these heaters stand out.

Fuel Types and Fuel Switching

First determine the fuel type of your water heater. Tank and tankless water heaters are available in gas and electric models. Normally, the fuel type of your new water heater is determined by the home’s existing water heating fuel source.

Fuel switching is not recommended because it can be expensive. Gas water heaters need venting and gas lines while electric water heaters require 240V electric service. Adding these new services will require a professional electrician or contractor from the utility company.

Also note gas as a fuel source costs less than electricity. While gas models cost less to operate and heat faster than electric options, they are less efficient and produce emissions. Electric models have higher energy costs, yet operate cleanly and efficiently, producing no emissions.

Rheem ProTerra™ Hybrid Electric Water Heater

This ProTerra® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater is 4X the efficiency of a standard electric water heater. It’s ENERGY STAR® certified, comes with available local rebates and a federal tax credit, and will save hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs!

Tank vs. Tankless

Tank water heaters store hot water and continually heat the tank water to the set point throughout the day. The advantage of a tank is the large hot water volume available for immediate use. Even though flow rate is not affected during high-demand, simultaneous use periods, the tank hot water may deplete and leave you with a cold shower.

On the other hand, tankless water heaters ditch hot water storage, saving a lot of space, and only heat water as needed. When a hot water tap is opened, a tankless water heater heats inlet water through a highly efficient heat exchanger. This means they use less energy than a standard tank. Unlike the tank water heater, flow rate will be affected during high-demand, simultaneous use periods, but you will not run out of hot water. If you want to create a more energy-efficient home while saving space, a tankless heater makes a great choice.

Both gas tank and tankless water heaters need gas lines and venting. The advantages of tankless gas are the energy savings, space savings, and continuous hot water. Although a tankless gas water heater will cost more up front, you can expect it to last twice as long with lower annual operating costs compared to a standard gas tank.

Choosing a tankless electric water heater may be a good option if you are looking for space savings in an all-electric home. Even though it is more efficient, moving to a tankless electric water heater often requires an upgrade to the home's electrical panel, which can be expensive. You'll need a 150 amp breaker for a tankless electric versus a 30 amp breaker for an electric tank heater.

If you are building a home and can choose the fuel type, Rheem® recommends the ProTerra® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump water heater. The hybrid electric HPWH still needs 240V electric service but is four times the efficiency of a standard electric tank. The high efficiency means homeowners save big on energy costs while protecting the environment.

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