Usually, many homeowners will only consider replacing their hot water service after their current system has begun failing. In these instances, you are more likely to try to get the fastest replacement rather than taking your time to establish what would be best suited to your needs. As such, you will find homeowners making the mistake of selecting a hot water system based on affordability rather than how best it would serve your residence. To avoid investing in a system that could lead to buyer's remorse down the road, here are some of the consideration you should have when contemplating a new hot water system.
1. FHR rating
Generally, homeowners will base their decision on a new hot water system by considering how large or small its storage tank is. However, this may not give you a clear indication of the tank's capacity. When it comes to hot water use in your home, you will find that there will be peak hours when demand is high. To ensure that the hot water will be sufficient during these peak hours, you should consider the FHR rating of the unit.
FHR stands for First Hour Rating, and it measures the amount of hot water that you would be able to receive during peak hours of hot water usage. It should be noted that a gas water heater will tend to have a higher FHR rating compared to an electric heater, yet the two systems may have the same tank capacity. If you have a busy household, you would be best advised to shop for a high FHR rating rather than simply looking at tank capacity.
2. Energy efficiency rating
Another important aspect to consider when searching for a new hot water system would be how energy efficient it is. Energy efficiency is not simply about how eco-friendly that the hot water system will be. The better the energy efficiency of the system, the lower the operational costs you would have to pay in the form of utility bills.
Hot water systems have an Energy Factor (EF) that is determined by the system's recovery efficiency. This refers to the system's ability to efficiently transfer heat to the water and how fast the system suffers from heat loss. If you would like a system that will heat water at a fast rate and retain this heat for a longer period of time, then you should search for units with high Energy Factor ratings.