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Water Heater 101: Exploring Natural Gas Water Heaters

Nov 20, 2019

Today’s natural gas water heaters are incredibly efficient, with the ability to heat your water twice as fast as their electric counterparts. They can even give you hot water when the power goes out.

Since water heating is typically the second-largest energy expense in a home, it makes sense pursue savings wherever possible. If natural gas is an option, this is something that you and your family might want to consider.

How is Your Water Heater Powered?

When replacing a water heater, you’ll generally use the fuel source that powers your current unit. You can certainly convert fuel sources, but there is extra cost involved.

When it comes to natural gas, you may be able to recoup the costs of conversion because this is the cheapest fuel for running a water heater. It’s also important to determine how much power you have in your home, known as its service load, so you’ll know if your choice in water heater is appropriate.

Even if you already have a natural gas water heater, you may need to re-work your piping if you transition from a tank to a tankless system. This is because a tank-type natural gas water heater uses a 1/2-inch gas line and a tankless system uses a 3/4-inch gas line.

Benefits of Natural Gas Water Heaters

Natural gas water heaters are known for being greener and cleaner than electric and propane units. They are efficient and fast while providing you and your family with the hot water it needs when it needs it. Some of the top benefits of these units include:

  • Value. These water heaters are the most economical to operate, requiring less time and space to keep your water heated.

  • Performance. Natural gas water heaters heat your home’s water twice as fast as an electric unit.

  • Environmental Impact. These units run on the cleanest burning fossil fuel possible. Natural gas water heaters lower nitrous oxide emissions by up to 77% and reduce carbon emissions by up to 57% compared to electric heaters.

  • Peace of Mind. Many of these units don’t require electricity, so they can continue to work for you even during a power outage.

Types of Natural Gas Water Heaters

The type of natural gas water heater you choose will depend on your home’s conditions and your daily needs. The efficiency of a water heater is rated by an Energy Factor (EF), which is based on the volume of hot water it produces per unit of fuel it consumes in an average day.

Whichever water heater type you choose, it makes sense to pick one that is rated for higher efficiency. These are some common types of natural gas water heaters.

  • Indirect Gas Water Heaters. These heaters use a heat exchanger to heat and circulate water through your home’s boiler before sending it into an insulated storage tank. If it is combined with an efficient boiler, this is a highly economical way to heat water.

  • Tankless Gas Water Heaters. Also referred to as an on-demand system, this heats water as it is requested instead of storing it. There may be limited flow rate, so look for a high EF with these systems.

  • Condensing Gas Water Heaters. Similar to a condensing boiler, this type of water heater traps the exhaust heat to produce hot water. It is incredibly efficient but requires drainage and venting.

  • Storage Gas Water Heaters. This type of heater preheats your water and store it in a tank until you need. It is the least efficient but most common type of water heater. Look for a high EF as well as an ENERGY STAR® unit.

Fast Water Heater is a trusted provider of water heater services, including replacement, repair, and maintenance. Our customers enjoy professional and friendly service from our team of expert technicians, who will never try to sell you something you don’t need.

Contact us today or call (408) 872-8028 to learn more about our services, including any special offers or money-saving rebates for a natural gas water heater.

Call (425) 636-7038
for fast service


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