The cost to install a tank water heater in Sarasota, Florida ranges from $850 to $1,800.
But, what you’ll actually pay to install a tank water heater depends on many factors like:
- Fuel type
- The contractor you hire
Let’s go into more detail about each of these cost factors so you get a better idea of what you’ll pay for a new water heater...
Interested in tankless units? Check out our article on the cost to install a tankless water heater or contact us for more info.
Factor #1: Capacity
Water heater “capacity” basically tells you how much hot water a tank can deliver to your home. Generally, the more capacity a water heater has, the more expensive it will be.
Now if you’ve already done some research, you’ve probably noticed that most articles suggest that homeowners choose a water heater based on how many gallons the unit can hold in total (size). But a smarter way to choose a water heater is by the unit’s first hour rating (FHR).
Here’s why: The FHR measures how much hot water the unit can deliver during a “busy” hour at your home starting on a full tank of hot water. This is a more realistic representation of whether the unit is right for you since it tells you how much hot water you can get at one time. Also, a larger tank doesn’t always mean it can provide as much hot water as you need during times of high demand.
The FHR depends on...
- The size of the tank (how many gallons it can store)
- Gas burner or electric heating element (gas usually heats faster)
- The size of the burner or heating element (bigger ones produce heat faster)
You’ll find a water heater’s FHR on its Energy Guide label (found on the tank). You can estimate how much hot water you’ll need at one time using this helpful worksheet below:
Here’s our recommendation: If you think your family would ever need to run 2 showers at the same time, you’ll need a water heater with an FHR of at least 40. If your family takes 3 showers within the same hour, you’d need an FHR of at least 60.
Still not sure what FHR you need? Don’t worry, the professional you hire to install your water heater can help you calculate it.
Factor #2: Efficiency
The more energy efficient the water heater, the more expensive it will be.
Water heater efficiency is measured by its Energy Factor (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater.
You can find the EF for a water heater on its manufacturer label. For gas water heaters (most common here in Florida), the EF can be between 0.50 and 0.80. Our recommendation is to find a water heater with an EF of 0.60 or higher.
So how exactly is a water heater’s EF determined? Well, a few factors dictate how high (or low) the unit scores on the EF scale, including:
- Recovery efficiency (how efficiently heat is transferred to the water)
- Standby heat losses (how much heat is lost from stored water)
- Cycling losses (heat lost as water circulates through the tank and pipes)
Note: Higher EF ratings don’t always guarantee lower operating costs because it greatly depends on the fuel source. We’ll cover that more below...
Factor #3: Fuel type
The type of fuel your water heater uses to create heat will determine how much you’ll pay. Although you can purchase solar or propane water heaters in Florida, the most common fuel sources are gas or electric.
- Natural gas tank average cost = $1,400 to $1,800
- Electric tank average cost = $850 to $1,300
When you choose between gas or electric, it’s important to look at the long term cost. Gas is a cheaper fuel source than electricity. So while gas water heaters usually cost more to install upfront than electric water heaters, we typically recommend Florida homeowners go with a gas water heater because the money saved from monthly energy bills will pay for the cost of the unit in the long term.
Factor #4: The contractor you hire
Higher quality contractors may charge more for their services, but you’ll also get a better installed unit, which will save you money in future repairs.
That said, beware of contractors who offer super low labor costs—you get what you pay for.
When you choose a contractor, follow these tips:
- Obtain written quotes from multiple contractors before you settle on one, that way you can get a good feel for what companies charge in your area
- Check out online reviews to assess their customer satisfaction and service
- Make sure they’re licensed and insured, that way you won’t be responsible in the event of an accident on the job
Need a new water heater in the Sarasota, FL area?
We’d be happy to help. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online to get a fair water heater install estimate.
In the meantime, visit our water heater installation service page for more information.
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- Buyer's Guide