How to Help your Customer Choose a New Water Heater
Your customer might be facing a failed water heater, or they might just want to upgrade or modernize their home. If there’s currently no hot water in the home, it might be tempting for the customer to just get any water heater installed as quickly as possible; but if you guide them through their options, the customer will experience greater satisfaction in the long run.
Traditional or Tankless?
For many decades, there was only one type of water heater available, which stores hot water in a tank that’s kept heated until the water is needed. This type of heater might be better for a home that needs to restore hot water quickly, or a home that frequently experiences low water pressure. For smaller families, this type of heater might easily meet their water usage needs. Traditional heaters are often less expensive than tankless for a new unit.
Tankless heaters need less maintenance, but the process to install one for the first time might take some extra work. However, they can also save the homeowner money on energy costs by only heating the water as it’s used, instead of maintaining hot water continuously. They also have the benefit of never running out of hot water. For larger families, this might give them the opportunity to make sure everyone gets a hot shower in the morning. Tankless water heaters also tend to last longer, with an average life span of more than 20 years, rather than the 10-15 years expected of traditional heaters.
What Size Should the Heater Be?
Once you’ve decided on a heater type, the next most important (and often overlooked) question is what size the heater should be. The heater should be able to keep up with water usage at the most active times in the household. You’ll want to ask the customer a few questions to get a feel for their family’s needs.
How many people share the house?
How many showers are in the home? Will more than one shower be used at the same time?
Is there a bathtub in the home? How many gallons does it hold?
How many washing machines or dishwashers are in the house? Are they used at the same time, or when people are showering?
For a traditional heater, the most important factor is storage capacity. Sizes for a residential water heater can range from 40 to 100-gallon tanks. For most homes, a 40 or 50-gallon hot water tank will meet everyone’s needs.
A tankless heater will never run out of hot water, but the water flow may slow to just a trickle if there are too many demands on the heater. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of the heater, such as outside temperatures, flow rates and the number of devices used at any one time. It might be better to install a large, whole-house heater, or you might want to consider installing a few smaller units in the bathrooms and kitchen.
There’s No One Right Answer
In conclusion, the best water heater solution is going to vary for each home. Consider budget, family size, appliances, and lifestyle before making a recommendation. With your experienced advice, your customers will be sure to find the perfect appliance for their family’s needs.
What’s your favorite water heater setup? Do you think tankless is the wave of the future?
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