The life expectancy of your home’s water heater will vary depending on your location and the type of energy it runs on. For the most part, a water heater will last between eight and 12 years. However, tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years.
Regardless of the water heater you have, time will only tell when you’ll need to have it replaced. And when that time comes you’ll need to make the important decision of which fuel type to use.
Fuel type and water heater options
The water heater options available to you are ultimately determined by fuel type. This is because the fuel type you use for your water heater affects the operation cost, energy efficiency, and size. Consider talking to your water heater contractor about potential choices during your regular water heater maintenance.
That being said, here are some of the most common fuel types and the water heater options available to them:
- Solar energy
Talk about energy efficiency. In some places in the United States, most notably the Southwest, solar water heaters are available for purchase.
- Natural gas
Less energy efficient than solar power, but more widely available, natural gas can be used on both instantaneous and tankless water heaters. Additionally, natural gas can be used to power combination water and space heating systems such as indirect and tankless coil water heaters.
- Fuel oil
Fuel oil isn’t widely used. However, it can power conventional storage water heaters as well as indirect combination water/space systems.
Electricity is the most popular and widely used fuel type for water heating systems. It can be used to power tankless, conventional storage, heat pump, and combination water heaters. Energy efficiency differs according to the type of water heater you choose.
Propane is another popular fuel type for water heating systems. However, the number of available water heater options for this fuel type are fewer than those available using electricity. Water heaters that can run on propane include conventional storage water heaters as well as demand. Indirect combination water and space systems can also effectively run on this fuel type.
Your home’s water heater options may be limited by other factors. Talk to your water heater contractor and water heater repair service today for more information on the best choice of water heater for you.