As a homeowner, you know it's important to stay on top of your home's maintenance. The plumbing, lighting, and air and heat must always work correctly and efficiently, and if ever something should break it's up to you to see that repairs are made. Sometimes, too, you are faced with replacing an appliance entirely in order to keep your house functioning. A water heater, for one, is a critical component in your home, and when you are ready to get a new one you need to make sure you find the right one for the money.

What must you consider before buying a new water heater? It's important to have your current one inspected to confirm it is indeed ready to be retired. Depending on the plumber you hire to assist, he or she may recommend a specific brand or style to install. Regardless of whether or not you hold onto brand loyalty, you will want to comparison shop carefully. You'll plan to have this heater around for at least twelve years, so it needs to be a good choice.

Here are a few things to consider as you search for the right water heater.

1) Your home. How big is your home - how many bathrooms do you actively use? Do you have a washer and dryer hookup that relies on water use, and do you have a tub sink in the garage used for different purposes? The size of your home could determine the type of water heater you buy.

2) Green concerns. Many people have taken to 'greening' their homes in order to reduce their carbon footprints and to save money on energy bills. If you are interested in having your home work smarter rather than harder, you may want to investigate tankless water heaters as a means of improving your utilities. You may also be eligible for a tax rebate depending on when you make the purchase.

3) Installation. Do you plan to hire your plumbing mechanic to install the heater, or are you handy enough to do it yourself? The brand of water heater you buy could determine your purchase depending on your expertise in home improvement jobs.

Whatever your decision when it comes to selecting a water heater, know that the size of the tank, the brand of heater, and other factors are tied in to how your home runs. Talk with your plumber for a better understand of what you need.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbers and Palatine plumbing services.

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