If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to shopping or ordering on or using the benefits of our website, please contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).

Tank water heaters

Bigger not always better
Bigger isn't always better when it comes to choosing a traditional tank-style water heater.
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The first decision in choosing a new tank-style water heater is usually the fuel source. A natural gas unit will cost less to operate than an electric model - the price difference can be paid back in energy savings in just a few months.

Tank-style water heaterSize isn't everything

Bigger isn't always better, and water heater tanks are no exception - you don't want to pay for more than you need.

Start by estimating how much hot water your family uses, and when they use it. Use our Hot Water Usage Chart to calculate your household consumption.

Then look for these ratings on the yellow-and-black EnergyGuide label to help you determine what size your family needs:

  • If your family uses a lot of hot water at certain times of the day - morning showers, for example - look for a model with a higher first-hour rating. This measures how much hot water the unit can produce in one hour.
  • If you family uses hot water all day long, find a water heater with a fast recovery rate to ensure that you'll never run out of hot water. The recovery rate shows how long it take the full tank of water to heat to the proper temperature.

When you consider these ratings, you'll find that a high-efficiency 40-gallon tank might provide more hot water in one hour or "recover" faster than an inefficient 50-gallon unit.

Installing your tank water heater

For safety’s sake, we highly recommend having a water heater professionally installed. This is especially important with a natural gas unit, because all fittings and vents must be adjusted
carefully to prevent gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water heater installationIt’s also more convenient: a professional will remove and dispose of your old unit safely.

The location of your water heater can affect its efficiency. Placing it in an unheated area forces it to work harder during cold weather. If your natural gas water heater is placed in the garage, it should be installed at least 18 inches off the floor to prevent gasoline fumes from igniting.

Distance matters too — the farther the hot water must travel through the pipe, the more heat it will lose. If you’re building a large new home, make sure the water heater isn’t placed on the opposite side of the house from the kitchen or main bathroom.      

Are you an Alliant Energy customer?

If you’re an Alliant Energy natural gas customer in Iowa or Wisconsin, you can earn cash back when you purchase a new high-efficiency water heater.

And don't forget to use Alliant Energy’s online Dealer Locator to find energy-smart plumbing experts in your area.      

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Questions about the show? Call 1-866-ALLIANT (866-255-4268), use our Contact Us form or send an e-mail.
If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to shopping or ordering on or using the benefits of our website, please contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).