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McMackin Mechanical Choosing Right Water Heater

Considerations When Replacing Water Heaters

Choosing a hot water heater is a crucial decision that impacts your comfort, energy efficiency, and utility costs. Several primary considerations should guide your choice to ensure you select the right hot water heater for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll discuss these considerations in detail.

Type of Hot Water Heater:

The first step is to choose between different types of hot water heaters, including:

  • Tankless Water Heaters: These heat water on-demand, providing unlimited hot water but with higher upfront costs.
  • Storage Tank Water Heaters: These store hot water in a tank and are generally more affordable upfront but can run out of hot water.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters: These use electricity to move heat from the air or ground to heat water, offering energy efficiency.
  • Solar Water Heaters: These use energy from the sun to heat water, making them eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run.

Fuel Source:

Hot water heaters can run on various fuel sources, including electricity, natural gas, propane, and even solar power. Choose a fuel source that’s readily available and cost-effective in your area.

Capacity and Size:

Consider the number of people in your household and your hot water usage patterns. Choose a heater with an appropriate tank size or flow rate to ensure you have enough hot water without excessive wastage.

Energy Efficiency:

Energy-efficient hot water heaters save you money over time. Look for heaters with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating or Energy Star certification. Tankless and heat pump heaters are generally more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank heaters.

Installation and Maintenance Costs:

Factor in both upfront installation costs and long-term maintenance expenses. Tankless and heat pump heaters might have higher installation costs, but they often provide savings in the long run.

Space Requirements:

Different types of hot water heaters have varying space requirements. Tankless heaters are compact and can save space compared to bulkier storage tank models.

Recovery Rate:

For storage tank water heaters, the recovery rate indicates how quickly the heater can heat new water to the desired temperature after the existing hot water supply is depleted. A higher recovery rate ensures you won’t run out of hot water during high-demand periods.

Lifespan and Durability:

Consider the expected lifespan of the hot water heater. Tankless and heat pump heaters often have longer lifespans compared to traditional storage tank heaters.


A longer warranty period typically indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality. Be sure to understand the warranty coverage and any conditions that apply. The ‘fine print’ may require professional installation by a licensed installer. Improper installation may also void a warranty.

Water Quality:

If you live in an area with hard water, consider the impact on your chosen hot water heater’s performance and longevity. Some types of heaters are more susceptible to mineral buildup than others.

Local Climate:

Climate can affect the efficiency of certain types of heaters. For example, heat pump water heaters work best in moderate climates like we have right here in Bucks County Pennsylvania.

Future Expansion:

If you plan to expand your household, consider your future hot water needs when selecting a heater.


The Inflation Reduction Act created significant discounts for energy efficient appliance installations, and you can save hundreds off the material cost of your installation. For programs information, read out previous blog here.

If you need to install or replace a new hot water heater, call McMackin Mechanical. We have years of experience repairing and replacing premium hot water heaters to suit your exact needs.

Call today for a consultation and to learn more about the process.


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