05 Feb. 19

How Much Does a Water Heater Cost?

It is no secret that water coming out of your taps takes a circuitous journey through a piping system. Most of the time, depending on the weather, this water is always cold or lukewarm at best. Warm water doesn’t just flow out of your taps of its own accord. If you are in need of water hot enough to take a shower or wash clothes, then you need a water heater.

We are in the 21st century. And in today’s 21st-century homes, a water heater is a pretty standard fixture. Typically, water heaters are metal cylinders confined to a basement or the laundry room. Of course, newer models have some more exciting accessories, some water models are even smart and can work with the internet.

The first description of a water heater is that it is a metal drum with a heating mechanism and space to store water. Water heaters are very helpful. As simple as they look, they exploit the principle of heat rising to deliver you with hot water without any hassle. Just open your taps and you have hot water.

Believe it or not, there are still homeowners who don’t own or haven’t experienced renting a water heater before.

We have noticed that for those looking to buy water heaters, there is always one question on their lips – “How much does a water heater cost?” In this post, we will be answering this question for you.

The Cost of Hot Water Heaters

The cost of a water heater encompasses far more than the actual cost of buying these home appliances. You have to factor in the cost of installation. We wish that you could buy a water heater and start using it straight away. However, that is not the case. Water heaters have to be incorporated into your home’s plumbing and water system.

This installation is best carried out by a professional. If you are technically adept, there is a possibility that you may be able to install a water heater into your home by yourself. However, it can be dangerous, and you risk the chance of messing up your plumbing and water system.

The total cost of buying and installing a water heater into your home ranges from $800 – $3000+. This may look like a huge range but it is an accurate one. You may be wondering why water heaters are so expensive.

There are a few factors that affect the price range of a water heater. Keep reading to see what we mean.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Water Heaters

The three main factors that determine the overall cost of a water heater including its installation are:

1. The Type of Hot Water Heater
2. The Size of the Hot Water Heater
3. The Cost of Labour for Installation

Cost Factor 1: The Type of Hot Water Heater

If you are new to the water heater scene, you may be surprised that there are different types of water heaters. Just like there are different types of vehicles, there are different types of water heaters. Consequently, each type of water heater available for sale has a different price.

Below are a few of the most common types of water heater:

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters came into existence as an alternative to the standard storage water heater. As the name suggests, tankless water heaters are devoid of storage tanks. They are usually powered by electrical power sources, or they make use of gas.

Tankless hot water heaters are more expensive than their standard counterparts. However, they can cut your energy bills by up to 50%. This means that in the long run, a tankless hot water system will save you money.

Additionally, with a tankless heater, you will have access to hot water as long as you need it. Since they don’t have a tank that requires constant refilling, you don’t need to fear running out of hot water. As long as your home’s flow rate is perfect for your water needs, you will have an endless supply of warm water.

Another huge advantage of using a tankless water heater is its small size. The portability of these devices means that you can easily install them in a vast number of locations. You can even install them closer to your preferred usage point, thus getting hot water faster.

The one downside to tankless water heaters if any, is that they can only heat about 2-5 gallons of water every minute. If you have a large family that needs a lot of hot water at the same time, you may need more than one tankless unit.

Tankless water heaters are perfect for small homes. They usually cost between $1,800- $4500 without installations costs.

However, they are well worth the hefty price tag.

Storage Water Heaters

These are the most common type of water heater. Storage water heaters come outfitted with insulated storage capabilities. These storage tanks hold between 25 to 85 gallons of already heated water. They are usually powered by electricity, natural gas, propane or fuel oil.

The water in storage water heaters is always hot. This means that you don’t have to wait around for water to be heated. They have a gauge that takes temperature readings essentially programming the heater to come on when the temperature drops below a particular level.

Storage water heaters cost less than other types of heaters. Although, it should be mentioned that they use more energy than the other water heaters available for sale.

An electric storage water heater costs between $800-$1500.

A gas-driven unit of the same specification will cost between $500- $1200. Depending on the need for rewiring, installation costs can cost up to $300.

Related article: What are the differences: Tankless Water Heater Vs. Tank Water Heater

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters work using solar panels that absorb the sun’s heat. This energy is transferred to an anti-freeze liquid that is passed to your water tank via a closed loop system. The anti-freeze liquid heats the water, thereby making it hot enough for your use.

Solar water heaters are a great choice especially if you live in warm sunny regions. All you need to do is have an expert gauge the perfect type for your home and budget.

Solar water heaters hold a plethora of advantages including:

  • They run on solar energy which is free
  • You get to save money on fuel and energy bills
  • They reduce your hot water’s carbon footprint

They are highly efficient with at least 80% of radiation being converted to energy on a regular basis.
On average, solar-powered water heaters cost between $2,000 and $6,000 with installation costs included. Although this might seem very pricey, they are highly cost-effective over time and work even when electricity fails.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Also known as heat pump heaters, they capture heat from the ground or air and transfer it to your water supply. Usually, they are more expensive than standard electric and gas heaters. Hybrid water heaters are a good investment. This is due to the fact that they use almost 60% less power than electric and gas models. This means that over extended use, your energy bills will drop drastically. Hybrid water heaters cost $800+.

Related article: What are the differences: Heat Pump Vs. Solar Water Heater

Cost Factor 2: The Size of The Hot Water Heater

The size of a water heater has a direct influence on its price. Usually, the larger the capabilities of the water heater, the more expensive it will be. When purchasing a water heater, you should always strive to buy one that is perfect for your hot water needs.

The truth is if you buy one that is too big for your home, you will end up spending needless money on energy bills. One that is too small however will leave you frustrated as it won’t be able to cater to your hot water needs.

How then do you know the perfect size for your home? You can do this easily by calculating the number of gallons of hot water you use at once. This figure is referred to as your “First Hour Ratings.” Once you know the maximum amount of gallons you consume at once, you can proceed to select the right size for you.

For example, if you expend 43 gallons of warm water at once, then it is very likely that you will need a water heater with a capacity of 50 gallons.

You can also use these guidelines to help you ascertain the cost of a water heater as a function of its size:

  • 1-2 people: 30-40 gallons
  • 2-3 people: 40-50 gallons
  • 3-4 people: 50-60 gallons
  • Over five people: 60-80 gallons

Cost Factor 3: The Cost of Labour For Installation

This is one additional expense that adds to the overall cost of buying a water heater. Depending on the contractor/ company you hire, installation of a water heater can cost between $300-$600. Sometimes, it may even be higher than that.

In the end, it is imperative that you do not try to go cheap on installation costs. Installing a water heater by yourself is dangerous. Similarly, higher quality technicians will charge more, but you can be assured of a premium quality installation.

Your best bet is to get multiple price estimates from different sources before settling on a particular contractor. Good luck!