Natural Resources Canada data indicates that, on average, water heaters account for 19.3% of the energy used in an average Canadian household (article). This is the second-highest source of energy consumption in the home after space heating (article).
These devices also use an average of 75 litres of hot water per day in Canadian households for everything from washing dishes and clothing to cleaning and bathing (article).
Researching and planning ahead for the best available technology - before it becomes an emergency - will help you save costs on your next hot water heater purchase. Avoid buyer’s remorse by taking time to understand what is available for your home’s needs!
Read on to learn about the top two factors to consider.
Understanding the Water Capacity Your Home Needs
Gas storage water heaters will have an indicator telling you the number of gallons that will fit in the tank.
Tankless hot water heaters, in contrast, are rated based on how many gallons of hot water they can produce per minute - this metric is called the ‘GPM’ (Gallons Per Minute). If it is likely that you will have the shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer going at once, you are likely to need a higher GPM!
An experienced plumber or installer would be able to estimate the hot water demands in your home, but in general, Energy Star suggests these GPM figures for different appliances in your home (article):
- Shower and Bathtub - 2.5 GPM
- Clothes Washer - 3.3 GPM
- Kitchen and Bathroom Sink - 2.2 GPM
- Dishwasher - 1.3 GPM
If you know that your family will typically be using the clothes washer in the evenings when household occupants also want to shower, you would want a hot water heater that could accommodate a flow rate of around 5.8 GPM.
Research Available Technology & Related Savings
Tankless water heaters only heat water on demand, which means that they consume far less energy than traditional water heaters; these latter heater types will store hot water in a holding tank which will constantly reheat the water (and draw on energy!) until used.
An Energy Star-certified tankless water heater saves the average family of four more than $1,500 over its lifestyle on gas bills (article).
The Energy Star website has a helpful searchable database of Energy Star Certified Water Heaters, which you can review here: https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-water-heaters/results
Knowing the benefits of a tankless hot water heater are invaluable to your family in making the right selection for your needs.
You may also be able to reduce your cost of purchasing a hot water heater by taking advantage of rebates. Read the eligibility rules on the posted rebates and don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions along the way. Future details on rebates for products in Canada will be available through the Natural Resources Canada website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2019/08/energy-savings-rebate-program.html
Our team of trained HVAC professionals can support you with all of your hot water heater questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions on finding the right hot water heater for your home!