Replacing Your Water Heater? Why Replace?
Water heating is typically the second largest energy expense in the home. It can account for as much as 20% of your monthly utility bill. As water heaters age, their efficiency fades and you may not have a complete failure, but a gradual loss of efficiency is inevitable. This can continue for years before the water heater finally fails.
Unfortunately, many home and business owners wait until their water heater fails before shopping for a replacement. However, over time, the cost of purchasing and operating a fully functional water heater can be much less than the cost of running an older, inefficient water heater.
The best way to determine the right water heater for your needs is to look at the number of people in your home and the amount of demand you have for hot water. This includes dishwashers and washing machines. Homes with teenagers, oversized bathtubs, whirlpools and spas generate a higher demand on the water heater. Always anticipate your family's future needs when selecting your water heater.
Business Owners, you will need to look at the number of people who will be using hot water at your location on a daily basis, considering employee's and customers alike. If you're a restaurant owner, hand and dish washing is essential to your operation and both can require a spectacular amount of hot water.
The average life expectancy of a water heater is between 8 and 15 years. Don't wait for an emergency to occur before thinking about replacing yours. In addition to avoiding cold showers and a soaked basement, replacing your unit with a new high-efficiency water heater is much more energy-efficient than those manufactured 10 or 15 years ago. Since water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home, the money you save on energy can help pay for the cost of a new one.
Comfort & Efficiency
Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home.
High-efficiency water heaters use between 10%-50% less energy than standard models.
An old water heater can operate for years at very low efficiency.
While considering a new water heater, there are numerous considerations that should be made.
The first step is determining the type of equipment you need. You may require a gas water heater or an electric water heater. If you are interested in a more energy-efficient water heating solution, a heat pump water heater or a gas tank-less water heater may be the right solution.
The capacity of your water heater tank (the number of gallons of water held) is an important factor to consider in your purchasing decision. The size of your family and the space available for your water heater play important roles in determining the type of water heater that is best for you. Always anticipate the future needs of your family when selecting your water heater.
The number of gallons of water that can be heated in an hour is another important factor that goes into your purchasing decision. You must evaluate how much water your household demands and how your tank heats the water when considering your water heater's recovery rate. One rule of thumb is that electric water heaters with a high tank capacity usually have low recovery rates, since there is more water available. Conversely, gas water heaters with a high recovery rate, may not need a large tank capacity because the unit can heat the water faster.
Tank Space Dimensions
What are your space considerations? Know the dimensions where your water heater is located. Determine the height and diameter of your current water heater. This information will help you understand the space constraints associated with upgrading your tank. Also, it is important to know the wattage of your current water heater.
The availability of a manufacturer warranty, or dealer warranty, is often a valuable option that can provide parts and labor coverage in the case of equipment malfunctions.
Water heating system accessories can enhance comfort, while creating a healthier indoor environment. Such options include a circulator pump and timer, a drip pan and an expansion tank.
Repair vs. Replace
Don't take the comfort and convenience of having hot water in your home for granted. It is not pleasant to shower, bathe, do laundry or wash dishes without it. Deciding whether to replace or repair your water heater is an important decision. We've compiled a few lists to help you make an informed decision about your water heating needs.
Reasons to Repair
The repairs will cost more than 50% of the cost of a new water heater.
The new model is more energy efficient. Compare the annual energy savings of the new model to the cost of running the old model. Energy efficiency savings may help the new water heater pay for itself over several years.
Replacement parts may be hard to find. The older the water heater, the harder it is to find the parts. It is even hard to find parts for some newer models.
Reasons to Replace
The water heater is still under warranty and the problem is covered.
Based on average life expectancy, the water heater still has enough service years in it to justify the repair.
Repair costs are reasonable. One rule of thumb identifies "reasonable" as "less than 50% of the cost of a new appliance."
Has the current water heater given good service and do you particularly like the model? Simply not wanting to change can be a valid reason for repair.