Hot, running water is one of those things we take for granted; that is until we don’t have it. It is uncommon to find a household without a water heater. But you might be forced to stay without one for a little while, like when doing a major renovation or if your old heater has reached its life expectancy. 


Since a water heater isn’t an inexpensive purchase and not one that you have to do often, it’s understandable that most people don’t know enough about them to make a good choice. To buy the right one, you need to know more about the essentials and features to look for when shopping for a new heater or you’ll be overwhelmed by the many choices available.


After reading this article, you’ll be able to pick and choose the water heater that would be best suited for your home and avoid the most common mistakes people make when buying one.

Not Knowing the Options Available

To understand the type you want, you need to know the types available. There are 5 main kinds:

1. Storage Water Tank

This type stores water in its tank to be used later. That means the size of the tank determines how much water it can hold. So, a small tank means you might run out of hot water earlier than expected. 

2. Tankless Water Heater

With no tank to hold the water, this heater produces hot water on demand. It’s good for households that need hot water at once. Albeit, it’s more expensive upfront than a conventional storage water tank, but it’s a popular choice for many people as it maximizes the efficiency of the system. 

3. Heat Pump Water

This choice is an energy saver as it uses the heat of the air and ground to heat the water instead of electricity.

4. Solar-powered

Drawing energy from the sun, this type is probably the best kind to conserve energy. Yet, like all solar-powered equipment, it might not work well when the outside temperature isn’t favorable.

5. Condensed Water Heater 

If your home is equipped with natural gas, you might want to consider this type. They are typically designed with tanks. For a family, you’d probably have to purchase a large size.


Storage and tankless heaters are common choices most people make. When choosing between electric and gas-powered, the latter tends to be more popular for large households. 

Choosing Without Comparing

It’s not enough to go off someone else’s recommendation because what suits one person may not suit your particular needs. You have to do your homework first and know more about the features of different heaters.


There is no one type better than the other. However, while they all heating water, some models do it more efficiently than others. You can get a more detailed idea of the different types if you do some research and get information from reliable sources. Chris Chamerlain from SmallWaterSupply provides comprehensive reviews and presses on the importance of choosing the right water heater with the necessary features for your needs. After reading the reviews on some of the most popular models on the market, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices.


Keep in mind your daily routine when choosing the size, because just one person using more water than expected can empty a tank quickly, and you’ll need to wait before you can get hot water again. If that doesn’t sound practical to you, perhaps an on-demand water heater appeals to you more. These are the kinds of things you have to put into consideration when choosing. Consider warranties, price, estimated life span, maintenance costs, and all the factors one may find in product reviews.

Choosing the Wrong Water Capacity


Choosing the wrong size is another mistake commonly made when buying a water heater. If you have a large family, you would need a larger capacity; if it’s too small it won’t suffice an average family of 4. A family of 3 to 4 people typically needs at least a 50 gallon capacity for an electric heater and about 40 gallons for gas-powered heaters. 


For families with 5 or more members, you would look for an 80-gallon capacity in electric tanks. Choosing a size too small will mean that the heater won’t be able to keep up with the demands of the household. 


The greater the capacity, the larger the heater will be. Before you purchase, make sure you know where it’s going to be placed and measure that area to see if it’s big enough for the water heater to fit. 


These are the most important mistakes to avoid before making a final choice. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions about things concerning safety features, the installation method, and the warranty. There’s no need to rush into the purchase without exploring all options first because the right water heater will last you a long time. 

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