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Comfort Flow’s Guide to Water Heater Efficiency

Did you know that water heaters have a standardized efficiency rating? This helps you to choose the best water heater for your home and family based on your energy efficiency needs. After all, you can choose between tank and tankless, gas and electric, as well as different brands and even sizes.

The handy FAQ below should help you make the best decision for your next water heater. And if you ever run into problems, you can give our team a call for water heater repair in Eugene. Keep reading to learn more about water heater efficiency ratings, what they mean and how to choose the best water heater for your family.

What Are Water Heater Ratings?

UEF is an acronym for Uniform Efficiency Factor. When you are shopping around for a new water heater you will find this rating on a yellow tag attached to all water heaters. UEF factors in the amount of water used and the amount of energy required to heat water. You can use the ratings to compare water heaters to one another as a means of making the best choice for your home and family’s unique needs. 

The UEF rating system assigns water heaters to categories based on their usage. There are four different categories – very small, low, medium, or high – which are also called bins. For the most accurate comparison, you should only compare like water heaters to one another. For example, you only compare medium bin water heaters to other medium bin water heaters. A UEF rating sticker also helps you identify several other factors like how many gallons of water a particular water heater can provide per minute.

How Do You Choose a High-Efficiency Water Heater?

If spending less on heating water for your home is a priority, a high-efficiency water heater is the way to go. Just look at the UEF labels for the ENERGY STAR logo. Water heater efficiency is about much more than just energy use. When you see the ENERGY STAR logo on a water heater, you can be confident that you’re getting a water heater that meets these qualifications:

  • Emphasis on energy efficiency
  • Strong ability to deliver enough hot water
  • Reasonable warranty period
  • Safety features

How Do You Size a Water Heater?

Even more important than the UEF rating is choosing the right size water heater. If a water heater is too big or too small, it won’t matter how efficient it is or how high of a rating it has. To choose a water heater size you have to consider the size of your family and how much water you anticipate using each day. Water heaters are created in sizes for the average use of different family sizes.

Having a water heater that is too small may lead to a lack of hot water when you need it. A tank that is too large will be much less efficient since it will heat more water than you can use at any one time. You could also consider a tankless water heater if you don’t want to be limited by the size of a storage tank. But you don’t have to decide on a tank size by yourself. Our team can talk to you about your needs and expectations to pick out the perfect water heater. 

How Do You Care for a Water Heater?

Your new water heater starts off with excellent efficiency, but you have to take care of it to keep it that way. You can pay attention to how your water heater is operating and call to schedule service when you notice anything out of the ordinary. 

It’s also important to schedule annual maintenance even when your water heater seems to be working just fine. Tune-ups are the best way to stay ahead of any potential problems. Skipping out on annual maintenance and ignoring the signs of problems will cost you on your energy bills as the years go by. 

You can expect a gas water heater to last for 8-12 years on average – the longer end of that average with proper care. An electric water heater will last for 10-15 years depending on how well you care for it. Maintenance truly is the difference in a longer lifespan for you water heater. 

Your comfort is our business! Comfort Flow Heating serves all of Oregon, so contact our team today to schedule your appointment.

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