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5 Factors that Affect the Cost of Water Heaters

Switching To Tankless
Switching To Tankless

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Water Heater

The cost of a water heater lies in a long range, making it difficult to provide an effectively accurate ballpark figure. Usually, most people consult their local plumber or contractor to discuss potential buying choices when it comes to selecting a water heater. In this article, we will briefly take a look at some of the factors that affect the cost of a water heater so that you can make a more informed decision next time.

Table of Contents

1. Water Heater Type | Cost of Tankless Water Heater vs Cost of Tank-Style Water Heater

The type of water heater that you decide to purchase will have a huge impact on its cost. When it comes to type, we mean the choice between a tankless water heater and a traditional tank-style water heater. A tank-style water heater stores a large quantity of water in a tank and keeps it hot constantly. On the other hand, a tankless water heater does not store any water and heats water on-demand.

A tankless water heater would cost more than a comparable tank-style water heater. While tankless water heaters do not have a tank, they do have differing levels of power/capacity. That is, different tankless water heaters satisfy different levels of hot water demand. Hence, when we say “comparable” tank-style water heater, we indicate a product that can meet the same hot water demand.  

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2. Tank Size | Cost of Water Heater by Gallon

When it comes to the cost of water heaters, the factor of tank size perhaps affects it the most. Obviously, this is only true for traditional, tank-style water heating systems. Tank-style water heaters store water in a tank and use energy to keep it hot constantly. The size of the tank generally determines how much hot water demand your water heater can satisfy.

As a rule of thumb, the larger the size of the water heater tank, the higher the cost of the water heater. It is fairly straightforward to understand why this is the case. A larger tank ensures that there is adequate hot water. However, selecting a water heater with an oversized tanks will lead to higher operating costs.

According to a few sources online, here is the range of water heater cost by size:

Size Price Range
30 gallons
$550-$2100
40 gallons
$550-$2100
50 gallons
$650-$2400
75 gallons
$1250-$3500
80 gallons
$1350-$3500

3. Energy Source | Cost of Gas Water | Cost of Electric Water Heater

Another major factor that impacts the cost of water heaters is the energy source. A water heater either burns a fuel or uses electricity to heat water.  Usually, electric water heaters are less expensive than gas-powered ones. However, that is not always the case. It is typically observed that electric water heaters cost more to operate than gas-powered ones.

It must be noted that there might be additional expenses when it comes to water heater cost in relation to the energy source. For instance, you might need to install a gas line. You should factor in these expenses before deciding the energy source of your new water heater.

4. Cost of Water Heater According to Venting

If you decide to purchase a gas-powered water heater, you would need to decide between the type of venting. Generally, gas-powered water heaters are available in two different types of venting: direct and power. Water heaters with direct venting use a chimney or an exhaust pipe and generally cost lesser. Power-vent water heaters come equipped with a fan or a blower and generally cost more than direct-vent water heaters.

5. Energy Efficiency

Water heaters are rated differently for their efficiency. A more efficient water heater would consume lesser gas/electricity to heat the same amount of water. Hence, a more efficient water heater would incur lower energy bills. However, water heaters with higher efficiency generally incur a larger initial cost. This is because water heaters with higher efficiency tend to possess a more complex and robust design which drives up its price.  

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