How to Pick a New Water Heater for Your Business Building
A steady source of hot water is required for customers and employees in commercial settings. If your business uses processes that require hot water, such as cooking or cleaning, the need for a reliable water heater will be even greater. Choosing the right water heater for a commercial establishment should be done carefully after evaluating several important characteristics of the heater and your company’s specific needs.
Repair or Replace
First, before picking a new water heater for your building, determine the age and condition of your existing water heating equipment. Decisions to purchase new water heating systems are often made when the existing units are no longer functioning properly or have broken down. Commercial-grade water heaters can be expected to last for several years before needing to be replaced. If your water heater is relatively new or is older but has been kept in good shape with regular maintenance, you may reasonably expect to get some more service out of it. Even if it has malfunctioned or broken down, it may be worth it to repair the equipment instead of replacing it. Consult with your local trusted plumbing professional for help with this part of your decision making.
Water Heater Type
There are several types of water heaters available, depending on your needs and preferences.
- Tank-style heaters: These types of heaters warm up water and store it in an internal tank until it is needed.
- Tankless or on-demand water heaters: Tankless water heaters use heating elements to produce hot water when it’s needed. They don’t store water and have a higher efficiency level.
- Gas: Gas water heaters burn natural gas to create hot water. They need special care and installation to ensure the equipment will operate safely.
- Electric: Electric heaters use electrical power to warm up internal heating elements that produce hot water.
- Solar: Solar heaters use electrical power from solar power installations to heat water. They dramatically reduce the cost of water heating.
- Heat pump: A portion of the heat moved around by heat pumps can be diverted to creating hot water. This can almost eliminate hot water costs for your business.
If it’s time for you to begin picking a new water heater for your business location, you need to know how much water you actually use over the course of a day. A business supporting a few bathrooms and employee kitchens or break areas will need less hot water than business in a sprawling, multi-story building. Your plumbing professional can help you calculate your hot water needs. When you know how much hot water you need, you can then go about picking a new water heater that will meet those needs. This process, called sizing, gives you a realistic view of your water heater requirements and allows you to accurately select a water heating system that will meet them. Accurate sizing also ensures you don’t waste energy and money by producing too much hot water.
Water heating is a significant consumer of energy in both residential and commercial settings, and as such, you can expect to spend a large percentage of your monthly operating budget on hot water. However, by investing in a high-efficiency water heater, you can reduce those ongoing costs considerably while ensuring you have all the hot water you, your tenants or your customers require.
The efficiency of a water heater is measured by its energy factor (EF). Look for a water heater with a high EF rating to get the best efficiency possible. As of 2015, water heaters will have new efficiency standards that mandate higher EF ratings for most types of heating systems.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on picking a new water heater for your commercial establishment and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!