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Gas Water Heater

As most homeowners know, with winter coming on it is time to have the water heater checked to make sure it is in good working condition and will do a good job for you during the next few months. If your current water heater is not in very good condition, is about to go out, or has just gone out, you will be faced with several decisions. First, whether or not to go with an electric or a gas water heater, and second, what size and style should you get.

For many people, a gas water heater is the only way to go because of the high costs of fuel that seem to be continually rising. Electricity is usually much more expensive than natural gas, so if you need a new water heater, now would be a good time to make the switch from electric. Statistics estimate that an electric unit costs the average homeowner twice as much as a gas unit. In today's economy, it really makes good sense to switch over to gas. Not only is it less expensive than electric energy, but it also burns more cleanly and costs less than liquid propane as well.

The next thing you need to look is the flow rate and the tank capacity. You will want to go with a gas water heater that meets your needs without overdoing it. Obviously, the bigger the tank, the more it will cost. For instance, a 30 gallon tank will cost less than a 40 gallon capacity tank, and the 40 gallon tank will be less expensive that one with a 50 gallon capacity. You should be able to talk to a consultant at any home improvement center or plumbing supply company who can help you understand the capacity and how it relates to your actual needs.

Although tank capacity is very important, flow rate can be even more important. The flow rate is the amount of hot water your water heater can put out each hour. The more water that can be heated and sent out, the better value you will get. You will want to find a water heater that has the best flow rate possible with the smallest tank capacity to meet your needs. Again, your home improvement consultant or a specialist at your plumbing supply store can help you understand the give and take of these values and help you come up with the right sized tank for your house.

Another item to consider is safety. A gas water heater should have built-in safety mechanisms that prevent the pilot light from lighting any vapors that may get into the room that could be flammable. Most of the newest styles and better brands of water heaters have this feature. You should not purchase one that does not. This is an inexpensive feature that can keep your family safe. Another safety feature occurs when the new tank is installed. Your installers should make sure that it is earthquake safe using approved straps to secure it to the wall or other structure.

By following these tips, you will soon be able to purchase your new gas water heater with confidence and your life can get back to normal.

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