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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Heater in Florida?

Are you in the market for a new water heater?

Generally, water heater installations in Florida will cost between $950 and $3,800. Multiple factors dictate how much you might end up paying for a water heater, such as:

  • Whether you choose a tank or tankless heater
  • The size of the water heater
  • The efficiency of the system
  • The fuel type of the heater
  • The contractor you hire

To help you budget for the installation, we’ll break down the cost factors listed above.

Rather get a water heater install quote ASAP? Contact Climate Design for a free water heater estimate in the Tampa-St. Pete or Bradenton area. Schedule today!

Cost Factor #1: Tank vs tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are more expensive than tank water heaters. This is because tank and tankless water heaters heat water in different ways.

Tank water heaters keep a tank of water constantly heated so that when you turn on the hot water, you have a supply of hot water instantly available to you.

Tankless water heaters don't keep a tank of heated water ready for use. Instead, tankless water heaters heat water as you ask for it. For example, if you turn on the hot water in your shower, cold water will pass through your tankless water heater and be heated on its way to your shower.

Because tankless water heaters heat water on demand instead of keeping water constantly heated, they offer advantages like these:

  • They last longer: Tankless water heaters tend to last better than tank water heaters. As stated by Energy.gov, tankless water heaters will last up to 20 years, whereas a tank water heater lasts 10-15 years on average. By not having to hold and heat water constantly, a tankless water heater expends less energy. Also, tankless water heaters have easily replaceable parts, which extends their lifespan by many years.
  • They’re more energy efficient: Tankless water heaters only expend energy to heat water when necessary, instead of maintaining heated water continuously like tank water heaters. In fact, tankless water heaters can be up to 24-34% more efficient than tank water heaters, according to Energy.gov.

Cost Factor #2: Size of the water heater

The “larger” your water heater is, the more the installation may cost. However, it’s not advisable to choose a smaller water heater just to save money. You’ll end up with higher energy bills in the long run.

The size of tank and tankless water heaters are measured differently.

For a tank water heater … size is measured by its Tank Capacity and First Hour Rating.

  • The tank’s capacity: This will tell you the maximum amount of hot water (in gallons) the tank can hold when it’s completely full. The average capacity for a tank water heater is 50-80 gallons of hot water, which is standard for a household of 1-4 people, according to Energy.gov.
  • The first hour rating: This rating measures how many gallons of hot water the tank will provide if you use the water heater continuously for an hour. It will be around the same number as the tank’s capacity since the tank refills itself as hot water is used.

For a tankless water heater … size is measured by its Temperature Rise and Flow Rate.

  • Temperature rise: This is the temperature your water must achieve before it’s ready to be used. This number is the difference between the temperature of your incoming water (in Florida, between 70°F to 80°F) and your desired hot water temperature (between 100°F to 125°F). For example, if your incoming water temperature is 70°F and your desired hot water temperature is 125°F, the temperature rise needed would be 55°F.
  • Flow rate: This is the amount of heated water your unit can produce per minute, also known as gpm (gallons per minute). Flow rate is important in determining how many appliances you can use at the same time. For example, let’s say your kitchen sink has a flow rate of 0.75 gpm and your shower has a flow rate of 2.5 gpm. If you want to run them together, add up their flow rates. Your tankless water heater will need a flow rate of at least 3.25 gpm to support both your sink and shower.

To determine the optimal tank or tankless water heater size for your needs, contact the Climate Design team to help you accurately size a new water heater for your home.

Cost Factor #3: Efficiency of the system

The more efficient your water heater is, the more it will cost you upfront.

The good news is that high-efficiency water heaters can also help you save money on energy bills over the lifespan of the system. Over time, these savings will most likely pay back the installation cost.

A water heater’s efficiency is measured by its Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) rating. The higher the UEF rating is—which can range anywhere from 0.64 to 2.00—the more efficient the water heater.

Choosing the best UEF rating for your home depends on whether your water heater is tank or tankless, the fuel type of your water heater (which we’ll get into) and the tank capacity of the water heater.

To make sure you choose the right UEF rating for your water heater needs and budget, contact a plumbing professional to assess what’s best for you.

Cost Factor #4: Fuel type (gas vs electric)

Gas water heaters are generally more expensive to install than electric water heaters.

That said, gas water heaters cost less to use on a monthly basis. Since water heaters last for 10+ years, your monthly savings over time could cover the cost of installation.

However, if you don’t have access to natural gas, you’ll need to install gas pipes and venting. The additional expense might outweigh potential cost savings, so consider choosing an electric water heater instead.

Cost Factor #5: Contractor you hire

Experienced, high-quality plumbers will often charge more but can also save you money in the long run.

For example, less reliable plumbers may charge less, but could cut corners to make a profit. A rushed install can incur expensive repeat work and higher monthly energy bills due to sloppy work.

If you’re looking for a high-quality plumber in Florida, make sure that they:

  • Are licensed and insured in Florida
  • Are knowledgeable and experienced
  • Provide an upfront estimate in writing so you aren’t surprised by the final bill
  • Have good reviews on Google and Facebook

Need a reliable, convenient water heater installation? Contact Climate Design

We work around your schedule—not ours. With availability through Sunday and extended weeknight service until 8pm, we’re here to make your water heater installation as smooth as possible.