How Do You Buy the Best Water Heater for Your Needs?

When deciding on the best water heater, an individual should consider the type of fuel the heater uses, whether the heater should be a whole-house or point-of-use heater and whether the heater fits in the desired space. Additional considerations include energy efficiency and extra features.

Water heaters can be fueled by electricity, gas or a combination of both. Electric water heaters are usually less expensive, easier to maintain and heat water faster. Gas heaters have a more expensive upfront investment and have to be vented outside, but they usually aren't costly to maintain.

Whole-house water heaters run through an entire home and can provide hot water to multiple fixtures, while point-of-use heaters can only be used for a single fixture or location. Conventional and hybrid water heaters are considered to be whole-house water heaters. Conventional heaters are economical and constantly store hot water, while hybrid heaters come with a higher initial investment but can save money over time.

The best water heater is one that easily fits near an exterior wall positioned near a gas supply line, power source and a water supply line. The heater should also meet the insulation requirements set by the most current federal energy standards.