Water heaters hum along in the dark recesses of a basement or mechanical closet; no one even notices them unless the hot water runs out on a busy morning. Surely, there are few people who think about the efficiency of water heaters, but for those who are willing to delve into water heater efficiency ratings, there is money to be saved. If you want to keep your utility bills low, you should spend the time to study out what types of water heater installations there are to choose from.
The Electric Water Heater
The main distinguishing feature between one type of water heater and another is the type of fuel that the heater uses to create the heat required to heat the water in the heater's tank. The electric water heater uses an electric heating element to warm the water inside of the heater. The main advantage of the electric water heater is that it is cheaper than heaters, but it falls short when it comes to efficiency. Low efficiency can cost you a lot of money in the long run as you pay more than you should have in order to heat the water in your home.
The Natural Gas Water Heater
A natural gas water heater will cost more than an electric heater. It also needs plenty of room to breath, so you want to store anything right up next to your natural gas heater. Despite the initial cost, the natural gas water heater boasts a higher efficiency rating than the electric heater.
The Solar Water Heater
While you have to pay for electricity and gas, you do not have to pay for solar energy. Furthermore, when you use solar energy in your home, you don't have to worry about where your natural gas or electricity came from. Thus, if you have a strong environmental conscience, or you are simply interesting in keeping your utility costs as low as possible, you should consider using solar energy to power your water heater. While setting up your water heater to run off of solar energy will cost more than either of the options discussed above, the savings on your monthly utility bills will help to justify the cost.
As you can see, there is no reason to make an electric water heater your default water heater. You might think that the choice of water heater is a no-brainer, but you would be denying yourself potential savings if you did not at least consider the benefits of natural gas or solar water heaters.