A Guide to Choosing the Right Hot Water Heater: Features, Types, and Recommendations

Hot water is an essential part of our daily lives, from showering and washing dishes to doing laundry. Given its importance, choosing the right hot water heater for your home can significantly impact your comfort, energy efficiency, and utility costs. With numerous options available on the market, it may be overwhelming to determine the best solution for your specific needs.

There are several types of hot water heaters available, such as electric water heaters, natural draft gas water heaters, power vented natural gas water heaters and tankless water heaters. Each type offers distinct advantages and may be suitable for different homes or preferences. When selecting a hot water heater, you must consider factors such as your home’s energy needs, available fuel types, and your budget to ensure that your chosen system performs efficiently and meets your expectations.

Continue reading as we provide an overview of different types of hot water heaters, discuss their unique features and benefits, and offer recommendations on how our professionals can assist you in making the right choice for your home.

Electric Water Heaters: Simple and Cost-effective

Electric water heaters are a popular choice among homeowners for their ease of installation and lower upfront costs. These systems use one or more electric heating elements to heat water stored in a tank, providing a ready supply of hot water for daily use. Electric water heaters offer several advantages:

  • Ease of Installation: They do not require venting, making installation relatively simple and less expensive than gas-powered water heaters.
  • Lower Upfront Costs: Electric water heaters generally have a lower purchase price, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Wide Availability: Electricity is readily available, allowing electric water heaters to be a viable option for homes in various locations.

However, electric water heaters may not be the most energy-efficient choice, as they typically have higher operating costs due to rising electricity prices. Additionally, they may not provide hot water as quickly as some gas-powered systems.

Natural Draft Gas Water Heaters: Traditional and Energy-efficient

Natural draft gas water heaters utilize natural gas or propane as a fuel source and rely on the natural upward flow of combustion gases for venting. These systems heat water in a storage tank, just like electric water heaters, but they often offer higher energy efficiency due to the use of gas as fuel. Key benefits of natural draft gas water heaters include:

  • Energy Efficiency: Gas water heaters generally have lower operating costs than electric models, making them more cost-effective over time.
  • Higher Recovery Rate: They can heat water in the storage tank more quickly than electric water heaters, providing a higher supply of hot water for your home.

On the downside, natural draft gas water heaters require proper venting, which may increase installation costs and complexity compared to electric models.

Power Vented Natural Gas Water Heaters: High Performance and Safety

Power vented natural gas water heaters are similar to natural draft gas models but use a fan or blower to push combustion gases through a vent pipe, improving efficiency and expanding installation options. Some key features of power vented gas water heaters include:

  • Flexible Installation: Unlike natural draft models, power vented water heaters allow venting through a sidewall, offering placement versatility in your home.
  • Higher Energy Efficiency: Power vented systems can be more energy-efficient than natural draft models, further reducing your long-term operating costs.

However, power vented natural gas water heaters tend to have higher upfront costs and may produce more noise due to the fan or blower, which could be a concern for some homeowners.

Tankless Water Heaters: On-demand Hot Water and Space-saving Design

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water when needed without the use of a storage tank. These innovative systems can either use electricity or gas for heating and offer the following benefits:

  • Energy Efficiency: Tankless water heaters can be more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank models, as they only heat water when needed, reducing energy consumption.
  • Unlimited Hot Water: They provide a continuous supply of hot water, ensuring consistent temperatures for your home’s needs.
  • Space-saving: The compact, wall-mounted design of tankless water heaters frees up valuable storage space in your home.

While tankless water heaters boast numerous advantages, they may have higher upfront costs, and gas-powered models require venting, which could increase installation complexity.

Choosing the Right Hot Water Heater: Our Professional Recommendations

When selecting the best hot water heater for your home, consult with our professionals, who will assess your unique needs and recommend a suitable system. Factors to consider when choosing a hot water heater include:

  • Available Fuel Types: Match your home’s existing infrastructure with the most accessible and cost-effective fuel source, whether it’s electricity, natural gas, or propane.
  • Energy Efficiency: Choose the most energy-efficient model within your budget, considering long-term operating cost savings.
  • Water Heating Demand: Evaluate your household’s hot water needs, accounting for the number of occupants, fixture usage, and peak demand periods.


Choosing the right hot water heater is crucial for maintaining comfort, energy efficiency, and lower utility costs in your home. By exploring electric, natural draft gas, power vented natural gas, and tankless water heaters, you can select the ideal system based on your unique needs and preferences.

Trust our professionals at North Wind Heating to guide you through the process, provide expert recommendations, and ensure proper water heating installation in Surrey, BC, of your chosen water heater system. Contact us today to discuss your options and make an informed decision to enhance your home’s hot water supply and overall comfort.