When it's time to replace your current hot water system, or if you're having a new home built, you need to carefully consider your choices. The hot water heater is usually one of the biggest uses of energy in the home, and yet no doubt everyone in your family appreciates having plenty of hot water when it's needed. Note a few tips for determining the best type of hot water system for your home.
1. Simplicity of installation
If you want to install the hot water heater yourself, you may want to replace it with a model just like the one you have; for an electric water heater, you connect the plumbing pipes and then plug in the unit. For a gas heater, you connect the gas pipes just as you do the plumbing pipes. These are both relatively simply installations that many homeowners can do on their own, or which cost very little to have a professional handle. Tankless heaters and solar panels can be much more complicated and usually always require a contractor for installation.
2. You don't use much hot water
A tankless hot water heater doesn't heat a standing tank of water but runs water over heated coils every time you turn on the tap. This is often the best choice for those who don't want to run out of hot water, but consider this option if you have the opposite concern, meaning that you don't use much hot water at all. You won't be wasting energy constantly heating water that you won't typically use when you opt for a tankless heater.
A solar hot water heater can be chosen for the same reason; many people opt for solar for their water heater in order to reduce their consumption of electricity in general and to allow them to have as much hot water as they need without hiking up their utility bills, but solar panels will also mean that you're not wasting energy to heat water you're not using.
3. It aids a home's resale value
If you plan on selling your home anytime in the future, note that a solar hot water heater may not always be the best choice, as potential homebuyers may wonder if the panels need maintenance and repair and if they will always have hot water, even at night or on cloudy days. Trying to explain the value of such panels or answer questions about them can be difficult, so it might be good to simply stick with a standard electric or gas tank or a tankless system instead.