A water heater is one of the most essential appliances found in a home, but most homeowners don't even give it a second thought. Could you pick yours out of a lineup of water heater brands? Do you know what capacity it holds? Chances are, if it has been working well, you won't have the answer to those questions.
Most of us won't think about looking for a new water heater until our current one fails us. So when the day comes that a new one is urgently needed, chances are we won't have the first clue what to look for.
Why you'll miss that hot water when it's gone
Imagining a day without access to hot water can be pretty scary for some people. No steamy shower to wake up to, not enough heat to wash dishes - by hand or in the machine - and forcing your fingers to freeze while trying to wash your hands several times a day. Even those who think they can live without heated water would begin to find it annoying.
So many choices
One big consideration for many is how efficiently the water heater does its job. Even if initial costs are higher, the cost of producing hot water down the road can be drastically cut, or in some cases virtually eliminated, by an efficient water heater. Water heater efficiency can be purchased with a new, well-designed product or added to an old water heater with one of many heat-saving measures.
Most people will tell you that the name on the water heater doesn't really matter as it does with other appliances because there are only a handful of major manufacturers and the components are generally very similar. So if you prefer a specific brand, there's nothing to lose - just pick the one with the best fuel type, warranty and style for your needs. If you decide what you want now, you'll be able to get the hot water back up and running so you won't have to miss your evening soak in the tub. You'll even be saving some money while you're at it.