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When Your Water Heater is On the Way Out

Water heaters are some of the sturdier and more reliable appliances in our homes, and, typically, we don’t give them much thought. As long as you can turn on the tap and get the water temperature you need, why worry about your hot water heater? The sad truth, though, is that nothing lasts forever- not even your trusty water heater. How do you know when it’s time for a water heater replacement? Water heaters last for many years, and by the time you need to replace yours, you probably will have forgotten most of what you once knew about buying a new unit. Don’t worry, we’ve got the information you need, on water heater cost, installation, repair, and much more.

Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home

Before you choose a new water heater, you will want to make sure it’s the right size, will provide the right amount of water for your family, yet is energy efficient. Deciding between the different types of water heaters requires some research, and you will want to learn about the variety of models available.

  • Conventional water heaters have a reservoir of hot water available for everyday use. Typically, the water stored in the tank is adequate to supply the needs of the household. However, if more than one person or appliance is using hot water at once, this type of water heater can run out of hot water.
  • Tankless water heaters heat water on demand. A tankless water heater doesn’t require a storage tank, because it simply supplies the hot water as it’s needed. This way, you’ll never run out of hot water.
  • Heat pump water heaters move the heat instead of generating it specifically for the water. This is highly efficient, and can safe money over other types of water heaters.
  • Solar water heaters harness the power of the sun. Another cost-effective solution, solar water heaters heat the water with the sun’s heat.
  • Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use the home’s heating system. They heat your water with the same heat being used to heat the spaces in your home.

Which type of fuel is right for your home?

The right type of fuel used to power your water heater will depend on different factors, like its availability and cost. Different types of water heater energy sources include:

  • Electricity: In the United States, electricity is readily available for conventional, heat pump, and tankless water heaters. Electricity can also be used in tankless coil and indirect water heaters, for a combination of water and space heating.
  • Oil: In some parts of the country, fuel oil is the most popular option for fueling conventional water heaters and combination water and space heating systems.
  • Geothermal Energy: This is available to people with geothermal heat pump systems in their homes for heating the house.
  • Natural Gas: Natural gas can fuel conventional and tankless water heaters, as well as tankless coil and indirect water heaters, and is available in many parts of the United States.
  • Propane: Like natural gas and oil, this fuel can be used for conventional storage and tankless water heaters, as well as indirect combination systems.
  • Solar Energy: This is available in many parts of the United States, and is particularly popular in the Southwest.

Other Factors to Consider

It’s best to work with a professional for water heater installation. An expert can help you determine the proper size for your home, and help you find an energy efficient model. Deciding between conventional and tankless models is a big decision, and while tankless water heaters are more expensive to buy, they’re more energy efficient, which makes it worth the cost for many people. However, if your family uses hot water for several applications at once, the tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with your demand.

Carefully choose the material from which your water tank is made, especially if you live somewhere with hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content, with high calcium and magnesium levels. Calcium, also called limescale, can form scale deposits in the water heater and your pipes, leading to decreased efficiency, corrosion, and a shorter lifespan. To avoid these issues, look for corrosion resistant water heaters. You will want to stick to your budget, but when looking at the cost of a water heater, consider the annual operating costs as well as the initial price, to make sure you’re making a wise decision.

Think about the energy efficiency of different models you are considering, looking for a water heater that is Energy-Star certified. Purchasing an Energy-Star water heater ensures that your water heater will save you money while delivering the hot water and high-quality performance you expect. Gas and oil fueled heaters are rated by energy factor (EF), for both conventional and tankless models. The higher the EF, the better the energy efficiency.

Precautions Required When Installing a Water Heater

  • Choose the right size, verified by a professional.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors if you choose a gas water heater.
  • Make sure your gas water heater has a direct venting system to remove toxic fumes.
  • Know the safety risks of electric water heaters, and have your water heater professionally installed.
  • Have your water heater inspected and cleaned annually by a licensed professional, to prevent accumulation of sediment that can decrease its efficiency and reduce its lifespan.

Call For Water Heater Installation by the Pros at Barstow and Sons

Whether you are starting fresh, need water heater repair, or are ready to replace your old water heater with a new one, contact Barstow and Sons for help. A full-service heating and cooling service company, we’ve been providing high-quality service to customers throughout Anne Arundel County, Severna Park, Pasadena, and Annapolis since 1980. We’ve built a reputation for our dedication to excellence, and we’re here for our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (410) 777-9148 to learn more or contact us through our website.

Barstow and Sons

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