Water heaters are available in four different styles, and each one offers unique advantages for your home. To choose the right one, consider where you live and how many people are in your home. Read this post to learn about the most energy-efficient types of water heaters and the best type for your bathtub.

What Types of Water Heaters Are Available?

There are four main types of water heaters:

Traditional Water Heaters

A traditional water heater includes a storage tank, heater, and thermostat to ensure that the water reaches the preferred temperature. The storage tank expands the overall water capacity for the heater. Traditional water heaters are less expensive but do not last as long as tankless water heaters.

  • Price: $1,500
  • Lifespan: 8-12 years
  • Level of Maintenance: Due to tank, maintenance is normally more expensive

What Size Do I Need? 

Use the first-hour rating to calculate the size you need. The first-hour rating predicts how much hot water your heater can produce within one hour. For traditional water heaters, you can use the EnergyGuide label to find this information.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters operate without a storage tank and are significantly more energy-efficient. Although tankless water heaters are typically more expensive, they tend to last longer and are easier to fix. Tankless water heaters have beneficial trade-offs that make them a viable option for many homes:

  • Price: $3,000 (including installation)
  • Lifespan: 20+ years
  • Level of Maintenance: Regular maintenance, consult owner’s manual for schedule

What Size Do I Need? 

To calculate the size you need to purchase for a tankless water heater, answer these questions:

  • How many devices will I use simultaneously? 
  • What are their flow rates? 
  • What are their combined flow rates?
  • What is the temperature rise? 
  • Am I using a gas or electric tankless water heater?

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters work by transferring water from your roof’s solar collector directly to your house. Since solar water heaters use renewable energy, they are sustainable and only use 20% of the fossil fuels that other types of water heaters use.

  • Price: $9,000 (without additional rebates or tax credits)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Level of Maintenance: Regular maintenance every 3-5 years

What Size Do I Need? 

There are three sizes of solar water heaters:

  • Small – 50-60 gallons – 1-3 people.
  • Medium – less than 80 gallons – 3-4 people. 
  • Large – more than 80 gallons – 5-6 people.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters transfer heat to water through electricity. Since heat pump water systems convert the air in a room and use it to heat the water tank, they must live in rooms that are 40 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

  • Price: $1,400
  • Lifespan: 8-12 years
  • Level of Maintenance: Regular maintenance, check owner’s manual to set a schedule

What Size Do I Need? 

For both heat pump and storage tank water heaters, use the first-hour rating to choose the right size for your home.

Are Water Heaters Energy-Efficient?

Water heaters can be energy efficient when you choose the right type. According to the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, heat-pump water heaters are the most energy-efficient type. Tankless water heaters are also an energy-efficient option if your home uses less than 41 gallons of water per day.

KOHLER Walk-In Bath combination tub

Which Water Heaters Are Best For Your Walk-In Tub?

We recommend either a heat-pump water heater or tankless water heater for your walk-in tub. Both options are more energy-efficient and seem to offer better advantages than other water heaters. During your walk-in bath quote appointment, your sales representative will examine your home’s water heater to ensure that it’s sufficient for a walk-in bath.

Ready to schedule your free in-home quote appointment? Visit our blog or contact us today.