The best gas hot water heaters are high-efficient, high performing and environment-friendly systems, great choice for the homeowners that are looking to buy a brand new or upgrade an existing water heater. Even if you already have an electric unit, you might want to switch to gas, because of all the benefits and savings natural gas and propane-powered water heating devices bring.
Let's see what these benefits are, how gas hot water heaters compare to electric, top-selling brands, prices and where to shop for the deal.
This review and provided links are about gas water heating in residential homes, powered by propane and natural gas, and are providing tips for buying, covering both storage tank-type and tankless models. The articles also cover reviews of the most popular manufacturers and models, installation and maintenance tips, the most common problems, and help with the troubleshooting.
Gas hot water heaters are designed to use both natural gas and liquid propane - LP. Most of the built and sold water heaters are factory set to use natural gas as it is widely used and cheaper than propane.
When comparing natural gas vs. propane, it is worth mentioning that the energy factor (EF), is almost the same for most brands of gas heaters, both heating water fast.
There are two types you can choose from; storage tank type and tankless, advanced with and conventional without condensing technology.
Tank-type water heaters are designed with the water storage tanks that have capacity from as little as a few gallons to over 100 - for residential homes. Hot water is always ready and available. The advantage over tankless type is the lower cost and simpler design, so less prone to failures. Best selling models utilize condensing technology, such as this Vertex model from AO Smith.
Tankless does not store hot water but heat water as needed - on demand. Hot water is not seating at the bottom of the unit but is always delivered fresh. The greatest advantages over the tank-type are small design, advanced technology, longer life, energy savings and flexible installation. Savings are even higher if the condensing units are chosen, which also gets lower energy consumption and better environmental protection. Good examples are those below, found as the best selling models.
This is an important one, because a properly sized water heater will provide enough hot water for a home, resulting in an increased comfort, efficiency and savings.
Storage tank-type gas hot water heaters are usually installed in a designated room, standing on the floor, while tankless, because of its small size and flexible venting options, almost anywhere, but mainly on the wall.
The most popular models are those with the tank capacity of 40, 50 and 60 gallons, as they can produce enough hot water for families of four, and homes with up to 2 baths, yet still being affordable. For the same family size, tankless water heaters with the flow rate of 8 gallons per minute or more will do the same work.
Other important factors to consider when looking for gas hot water heaters to buy, install or troubleshoot, are the options you have for the efficient and economical venting.
When the gas water heater is running, it requires fresh air for combustion and ignition, and it can be used either from indoors or from the outside. It is also important safely to remove products of combustion/flue gases outside, using the house chimney or provided vents.
There are several types of venting systems one should consider:
If looking to buy the best tank-type gas heater, check out AO Smith GDHE-50-NG Vertex 100 or Polaris Water Heater, both with an ultra high energy efficiency of 96% making it the most energy-efficient models on the market. The first-hour rate on both units is very high, delivering hot water fast and when needed.
If looking for the best tankless, the recommendation is to buy one of the condensing units, such as Navien, Rinnai or Noritz, as they are known for ultra-efficient water heating, fast hot water delivery when needed and in endless supply.
Money saving tip: If gas hot water heaters are expensive to buy, renting one is always an option. Renting a water heater is convenient and gives you peace of mind, so if anything goes wrong with the unit most parts and service are covered.
If planning to switch from an existing heating system to a new one, using a natural gas or propane, consider next:
Once the hot water tap is open, hot water from the top of the tank starts running through the hot water outlet to the faucet or shower. At the same time, cold water enters from the bottom through the dip tube.
The thermostat senses the cooler water and turns on the gas at the gas valve and the burner that is mounted at the base of the tank. Thermocouple, as a safety element, sends the signal to the gas valve to open - only if there is a presence of a pilot flame to lit the gas. Once the flame is established, water is heated and the product of combustion from the combustion chamber are removed through the flue vents out.
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