Of all water heater types, Storage Tank Water Heaters are the most commonly used. Their widespread usage is due to their relative availability and cheaper pricing when compared to other water heaters.

Storage Tank water heaters work by heating and storing water in an insulated tank until it’s needed. If you’re buying a water heater for the first time or looking to replace an existing one, selecting a Tank Water Heater that correctly suits your needs isn’t an easy task. Given that a water heater is a long-term investment, getting it right ensures you don’t spend the next decade in regret.

Luckily, if you are unsure of which Tank Water Heater to buy, this guide will help you out.

Types of Tank Water Heaters.

Before selecting a water heater, you first need to be familiar with the different types of Storage Tank Water Heaters. Based on the kind of fuel powering them, there are three major types;

  • Electric Tank Water Heaters: powered by electricity.
  • Propane Tank Water Heaters: run on propane.
  • Gas Tank Water Heaters: powered by gas.

Selection Criteria

Selecting the best heater for your household needs isn’t an easy task. It would be best if you had some criteria with which you can filter out those heaters that don’t work for you, and remain with those best for you. Here are factors you should consider when choosing a Tank Water Heater;

  1. Size.

Choosing the correctly sized Tank Water Heater is paramount. It shouldn’t be too small as to end up being inadequate, or too large as to end up wasting space and energy. During sizing, the heater’s First Hour Rating (FHR) is used. FHR is defined as the number of gallons of hot water a heater can supply in an hour, starting with a full tank.

An energy guide label or a product guide from the manufacturer will state a water heater’s FHR. To identify your FHR range, you need to calculate your peak hour of water usage. You can use the worksheet in the Energy Saver website to do this. The appropriate heater size should have a FHR within 2 gallons of your peak water usage.


  1. Fuel Type and availability

The fuel a water heater runs on, and its availability are important factors. What fuel does it run on? Is the fuel readily available in your area? What is the cost of fuel? Before making your decision, you need to compare the prices of fuel in your area and pick the cheapest alternative.

  1. Energy Efficiency

It is determined by the Energy Factor (EF) of a heater. The EF shows how much hot water is produced for every unit of fuel consumed. The higher the EF of a Tank Water Heater, the more energy-efficient it is.

  1. Operating Costs

Calculating operating costs is the final step. You will use the EF and the fuel cost and type of the Tank heater to determine annual operating costs. Calculations are well illustrated in the Energy Website. You can also include installation and maintenance costs.

The heater with the lowest operating costs should be chosen.

Some leading Storage Tank Water Heater brands that you can choose from for an excellent heater include;

  • Bradford White
  • Rheem
  • Kenmore
  • Whirlpool
  • GE

Making your decision

Following the above criteria should make choosing a Storage Tank Water Heater easier for you. You will go back home knowing you made the best possible decision. I wish you the best of luck in your quest.