Water heaters are required to be energy efficient, the federal regulation that took effect in April 2015 requires it. So simply replacing your old water heater with a new one is not so inexpensive anymore. As the efficiency of these home appliances have improved, their price tag increased as well. The best news is that new water heaters save money on energy bills and they last much longer with less issues, so overall it’s a good investment.
The first things many shoppers notice is that there are many more water heaters to choose from, so being a smart shopper can pay big dividends at the cash register. All have improved, so the conventional storage tank water heater and the tankless models will serve you better hot water for more years and at an energy consumption rate extremely better than the water heaters from 10 years ago did. The larger units are better equipped with new technologies that will show a significant decrease in utility bills, some 25% to 50%, depending on the model, energy and other variables that affect efficiency.
More good news!
Water heaters command approximately 20% of a home’s energy costs.
The savings will reflect immediately on your energy bill!
If your water heater is in a closet or has a confined space, the newer models may not fit as well, they tend to be a few inches larger so measure your area before you head out shopping, you will be glad you did. Open space water heater will not be an issue and the improvements to the new models will be more attractive to exposed units that typically reside in basements.
Water Heater Repairs
New water heaters can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, before jumping in the truck with credit card in hand, determine if your current water heater can be repaired. A burned out heating element or a leaky drain can be fixed, a corroded tank can’t! We stock water heater parts, so call us for advice before you purchase.
Cutting a tree in half and counting its rings will tell you the age in years of some trees, if you cut a water heater in half it could tell you many important things too, like how long it will last. The quality of a water heater is in the internal parts and technology of the unit, a water heater with a longer warranty generally will have better parts installed, larger heating elements and thicker insulation, all things you can’t see from the outside.
Although a better warranty should indicate a better water heater, there can be “fine print” involved, such as:
Required service by a licensed technician
Shorter Warranty for “Hard Water Homes” or “Multi-Family” homes.
Reading the label is good, reading the warranty is better!
What Size Water Heater?
Conventional storage tank water heaters are sold by capacity; 30, 40, 50 & 80 gallon storage tanks, so what size do you need is determined by how much hot water your household will use daily. Typical hot water usage: showers, laundry, dishwasher, hand washing, etc… There are numerous metrics to determine what size, but here is a simple guide that works for the average home:
- 1 – 2 individual’s 30 gallon storage tank
- 2 – 3 individual’s 40 gallon storage tank
- 3 – 4 individual’s 40 or 50 gallon storage tank
- 5 or more individual’s 50 or 80 gallon storage tank
Mr. DIY should consider taking this day off and hiring a professional plumber to install the new water heater, especially if going from a storage tank to a tankless or hybrid water heater. There are too many scenarios where a warranty can be voided, incorrect installation damages the unit or hampers the efficiency of the new heater. New regulations may require a permit that can only be “pulled” by a licensed plumber, before “putting on your work boots” to tackle another “Honey-Do” a little research could go a long way, just saying…