We have a tendency to take our hot water tanks for granted, but realistically, our water heaters are some of the most important appliances in our homes. Whether we’re doing the dishes or the laundry, cooking, cleaning, or bathing, we use plenty of hot water every single day, so it’s important to make sure our hot water tanks are reliable and efficient.

Water heater technology has come a long way in the last decade or so, mainly becoming more and more efficient. On average, our hot water tanks account for nearly 20% of the energy usage in our homes, so buying a newer model of hot water tank is one of many energy saving tips that can help you save on your monthly utility bills.

Read our guide, 10 Money Saving Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency to learn more.

Typically, water heaters come with warranties between 3-12 years, as that’s the average lifespan of hot water tanks. But hard water or heavy use may mean your water heater gets worn out even sooner, so if your water heater is aging, it may be time to consider an upgrade. With the increasing amount of options of different styles of water heaters, it’s never been easier to find a water heater that will fit your lifestyle and your budget. 

Types of Hot Water Tanks

Storage Tank

This is the most common type of water heater. Storage tank water heaters have a tank where water is heated and stored until it’s needed. Hot water tanks are using less and less energy, and many models are now ENERGYSTAR certified as high-efficiency.

hot water tank

Image via http://www.bradfordwhite.com/products/storage

At Canuck Plumbing and Heating, we have over 15 years of experience working on shot water tanks, and we pride ourselves on be able to service all makes and models. However, all of our experience has led us to recommend and carry the Bradford White brand hot water tanks. We believe that Bradford White hot water tanks are unsurpassed in efficiency, installation flexibility, and quiet operation. Call us today to find the hot water tank that best suits your needs!

Tankless or On-Demand Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are relatively new designs and have been gaining popularity for a number of different reasons. Tankless models don’t store hot water. Instead, they heat the water only when it’s needed by passing it through a series of heated coils within the unit. Because tankless models only heat the water on-demand, they are typically significantly more energy efficient than hot water tanks, and can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30%.

Tankless water heaters do require a higher initial investment than storage tank models; however, the reduction in the costs of your monthly energy bills might make it worth the investment.

For tankless water heaters, the brand that our experts here at Canuck Plumbing and Heating recommend is Navien. Navien tankless water heaters have gained international recognition for their sophisticated designs and advanced engineering. When it comes to efficiency and reliability in tankless water heaters, Navien is unmatched. Call us today to figure out which model is best for you!

Gas vs. Electric Hot Water Tanks

Water heaters are typically either powered by gas or electricity, and choosing which type is best for you comes down to a few different factors:

Pricing – Generally speaking, the purchase price of electric hot water tanks is slightly lower than gas models. However, there are some additional costs associated with installing an electric hot water tank, like having to install an additional breaker and run the wiring to the unit.

For tankless models, the installation cost of an electric model may be significantly higher, as they require a large amount of electricity and you might need to significantly upgrade your home’s electrical system.

Operating Costs – With current energy prices, the monthly operating costs of gas hot water tanks are slightly lower than electric models.

Recovery Rate – The recovery rate of a hot water tank is the rate at which it can replenish the supply of hot water after it’s been drained. Gas hot water tanks generally perform better and have higher recovery rates than electric models.

When it comes to water heaters, gas typically still has the edge over electricity. However, there are plenty of situations when an electric water heater would be the best option, so give us a call and talk to one of our helpful experts to figure out what type of water heater is right for you!

Consider the Capacity of Your Hot Water Tank

It’s important to make sure the capacity of your hot water tank is enough to efficiently and comfortably supply your entire household. Different types of water heaters will feature different ratings, letting you know exactly how much hot water the unit can produce.

If you’re planning on purchasing a storage tank water heater, you’ll want to consider the first-hour rating (FHR), which is the amount of hot water that the heater can produce over the course of the first hour it’s being used.

tankless water heater

Image via http://us.navien.com/Product/Category-NPE-A%20series/

For tankless water heaters, you’ll want to consider the gallons-per-minute rating (GPM). Typically, most models will be rated at 3.5 GPM or less, which is best for people who do not need to draw hot water for multiple uses at one time, such as running the dishwasher while you shower.

Also, be sure to measure the area you are planning on placing your new hot water tank, and don’t simply assume it will fit in the same place as your old one. Increased insulation and other efficiency improvements may mean that your new hot water tank is taller or wider than your previous model.

Whether you’re in need of a brand new Bradford White hot water tank, or a Navien tankless water heater, Canuck Plumbing and Heating is here to help! We can help you figure out what type of water heater is best for you and find you the best model to fit your budget and your lifestyle. At Canuck, our friendly and experienced plumbing professionals have been taking care of hot water tanks in Fort Saskatchewan and Edmonton for over 15 years. Call us today, because nobody likes a cold shower!