Your hot water heater is essential to being comfortable within your home, so it's important to identify when they underperform so you can save money and maintain your hot water supplies.
Hot water is important for anything from running your shower to cleaning your clothes and dishes. This makes it one of the more essential functions within the home. However, water heating can also make huge contributions to your utility costs. According to the Department of Energy, they make up roughly 14 to 18 percent of your total utility bill. But if you are using a water heater that is aging and not performing the way it should, it could be even more costly because it needs to work harder to keep your water warm.
Sometimes, your water heater simply needs repairing, but in other instances, you may need to replace it, so make sure to keep an eye out for these signs.
When its time to replace
Chances are, if you have an older hot water heater, you're using a storage tank system. These water heaters have a life span of roughly 10 to 13 years, which means if it is getting up in age, a replacement is necessary.
However, if you are unsure of its age, there are some obvious signs that its on its way out. For instance, if it leaves a giant puddle in the basement, this is a sure sign that it is not functioning properly, according to House Logic. Also, you can probably tell that its no longer working if your shower is cold.
The news source noted that water minerals eventually wear down the steel of a water tank, meaning that eventually your tank will spring a leak. Public Service Electric and Gas Company explained that slow recovery, noisy operation, calcium buildup and a lack of hot water can also indicate that its time for replacement.
What to look for in a new water heater
There are a variety of options available to you. While you can replace your old tank with a new one, they will likely need replacement again in another 10 or so years. Also, tank water heaters are the least efficient ones on the market.
Tankless water heaters on the other hand have fast been growing in popularity. Also known as demand water heaters, these solutions heat the cold water on its way to the spout, meaning that they do not need to use large tanks, rather simply be mounted on a wall almost anywhere, even under the sink.
However, the biggest advantages come in energy savings. The Department of Energy noted that homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water per day, tankless water heaters are between 24 and 34 percent more efficient, while homes that use around 8 to 14 percent more efficient.
Finding the best solution
Between tankless water heaters, there are two common choices – gas or electric. Because gas can be expensive, and also emit carbon emissions, many find that electronic ones are among the optimum choices.
But even between electric ones, there are some major technological advantages that can arise. Look for a tankless water heater that can allow you to control the temperature as much as possible in order to find the optimum and most efficient temperature for your home's water. Also, threaded copper heating elements with brass termination can increase durability and make for easy replacement.
There are a number of elements that go into a successful hot water heating solution. Make sure to consider your unique consumption habits and utility bills.