Use our water heater guide to explore all your options and decide what type of water heater is best for your Ottawa household.
Is It Time To Replace Your Water Heater?
Consider yourself lucky if your water heater has lasted more than 12 years. These heavily used appliances eventually do wear out. If you’ve noticed signs your water heater isn’t working correctly, like visible leaks, loud noises or the inability to heat water properly, it is likely time to replace your old water heater.
Before you buy (or rent), it’s important to understand the different types of water heaters and how they work.
How Do Water Heaters Work?
Gas and electric water heaters work hard to increase the temperature of our cold Ontario water.
How do they do it? Typically, water is heated inside a storage tank by an electric or gas heater. Tank models tend to use more energy to create hot water than other models. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, uses less energy. Let’s look at the most popular types.
Types of Water Heaters
There is no clear winner in the tank vs tankless water heater debate because energy sources, capacity, needs, and preferences vary from household to household. Each heats water differently, but both provide the reliable hot water we depend on.
Storage-Tank Water Heaters
A storage-tank water heater is the most common type offered as a natural gas or electric unit.
Storage tank water heaters operate through a heat exchange process. This starts as cold water enters the tank from the bottom. Under the tank, a burner (used in gas water heaters) or a heating element (used in electric water heaters) heats up the water.
Then, the newly heated water becomes less dense and naturally rises to the top of the tank. A pipe at the top of the tank carries the hot water to our sinks, showers and appliances. Cold water is replaced as hot water leaves the tank. These water heaters also feature temperature and pressure relief valves that open when triggered.
Storage tank water heaters are found in most older homes. A worn-out tank is usually replaced with a newer version of the existing water heater, either electric or natural gas.
Tankless Water Heaters
Sleek and modern, tankless water heaters are quickly gaining popularity in Ottawa. These units are wall-mounted and heat water as you use it.
The mechanics of a tankless unit are relatively straightforward. Like conventional water heaters, tankless heaters use a natural gas burner (or electric water heater element) to generate hot water. In this case, though, everything happens on demand. For example, as soon as you open a hot water faucet or turn on an appliance that requires heated water, water enters the chamber. This prompts an internal computer to send a signal to start the heating process. A heat exchanger then quickly ensures the desired water temperature is reached.
Tankless water heaters are sometimes referred to as point-of-use, instantaneous or on-demand water heaters.
Compare Tankless vs Hybrid Water Heaters to help you make your decision.
Other Types of Water Heaters
Your choice of water heaters also extends to heat pump water heaters (also known as hybrid water heaters).
- Heat Pump Water Heaters: Inside a heat pump water heater, a fan draws air into the unit. The air passes through an evaporator filled with refrigerant, absorbing enough heat to turn into a hot gas. This gas passes through tubes that transfer heat to water in a storage tank. Learn about the pros and cons of a Hybrid Water Heater to help you decide if it’s right for your Ottawa home.
These systems tend to have higher installation costs and may require additional space, ceiling clearance, venting, or drains.
Are Water Heaters Energy-Efficient?
Water heating accounts for 15-25% of household utility costs, making water heaters the second-highest source of home energy usage. Thankfully, technological advancements have led to the development of newer energy-saving models.
Standard water heaters are not known for energy efficiency. When hot water is not being used, tank-style electric water heaters and natural gas water heaters continue to heat the water. Unless you have a heavily insulated tank, some standby heat loss occurs.
ENERGY STAR certified water heaters use less energy than traditional models, allowing homeowners to save energy. In addition, certain natural gas storage tank and tankless models are ENERGY STAR approved.
If you are looking to switch from a storage-tank water heater to a tankless unit, it might not seem cost-effective due to higher installation expenses. Don’t let this dissuade you. ENERGY STAR certified tankless water heaters allow you to save money and recoup your costs over time. Because tankless water heaters only heat water as it passes through the unit, there is reduced energy consumption and no standby heat loss. These heaters have earned a high Energy Factor (EF) rating for overall energy efficiency for reasons like this.
Are There Canadian Rebates for Water Heaters?
Yes! The Canadian government is currently offering substantial incentives to Ottawa homeowners who make eco-friendly retrofits to their homes.
Under the Canada Greener Homes Grant, Ontario residents are eligible for the following rebates:
- Energy-efficient Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters: $1,000 maximum
- Required in-home evaluations: $600 maximum
- (To qualify for the rebates, pre- and post-retrofit evaluations must be conducted.)
To meet all rebate requirements, it is necessary to adhere to the program guidelines carefully. Please contact us for more information about the Green Homes Grant.
Do Tank Size and Gallon Capacity Matter?
Water heater size and capacity are directly related to your household size and how much hot water your family needs.
Tank capacities vary, but the average size falls within the 40-60 gallon range. Before you decide on a specific tank, become familiar with the First Hour Rating (FHR). This represents the amount of hot water your water heater can produce within one hour. You can find a unit’s FHR on its EnerGuide label, which states how much energy a product uses and how it compares to similar models.
Tankless water heaters don’t have a large reservoir, so look for the gallons-per-minute (GPM) rating. This will tell you how much hot water the unit can deliver per minute. A model with a high GPM delivers more hot water.
You should consider many factors before you make your choice. We recommend discussing your appliance requirements with a licenced, qualified professional before selecting a water heater.
Should I Consider Renting a New Water Heater?
While buying a water heater makes sense for many homeowners, others enjoy low payments and flexibility in a rental program. Choosing to rent a tankless water heater from Hot Water Ottawa includes removing your old unit, installing your new one, no-hassle repairs, maintenance, and an attractive buy-out option.
What Are the Best Water Heater Brands?
Hot Water Ottawa offers only well known and trusted water heater brands, including:
- A. O. Smith
- Bradford White
- John Wood
Our highly trained and licenced technicians can service any water heater make or model should you require repairs or maintenance.
Ottawa Area Hot Water Heater Installation and Rental Services
If you are searching for a new water heater or have questions about water heater models, speak with an expert at Hot Water Ottawa. Our team provides professional installation and replacement services, as well as water heater rentals and repairs.