Ignore Your Hot Water Heater at Your Own Risk

Posted on March 24, 2017

types of water heaters

Out of sight, and out of mind. That describes how many homeowners treat their hot water heaters. Tell the truth now, when was the last time you thought about it? A month ago? A year ago? Not since you bought your house? Never?

That’s why you need to call us at Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric, so our professionals can make sure your shower doesn’t turn into a frigid morning wakeup. The first thing we’re going to do is inspect and provide maintenance on whatever hot water system you currently have and resolve any needed repairs. But there can also be advantages to replacing your current water heating system, and our professionals can help you with your decision.

The water heater is a home appliance that deserves more attention because it’s generally the second largest energy user ($400 to $600 a year) behind your HVAC system.

In most homes, the water heater is an insulated tank usually holding 50+ gallons of water. A gas or electric heating element keeps all of the water hot and is connected to the household plumbing to deliver the heated water on demand to all fixtures in the home.

The most common second choice is the so-called tankless or instant hot water system. It has been heavily promoted in recent years as being more efficient. That’s because it heats the water as you use it and doesn’t have to keep an entire tank of water hot.

But they are not the best choice for every situation. Here are some of the pros and cons from energy.gov:

TANKLESS WATER HEATERS STORAGE WATER HEATERS
PROS
8% to 34% More efficient Low initial costs
Constant supply Cheaper to install
CONS
Multiple users can mean cold water Must heat entire tank
Energy savings may not cover higher costs Standby heat loss

You can also use the power of the sun and install a solar water heater. The upfront costs are higher, but it is 50% more efficient than heating water with gas or electricity. You may have to install a backup system to ensure hot water during cloudy weather.

Another possibility is using a heat pump to heat the water instead of heating it directly with gas or electricity. It is more efficient but also gives off cold air that could increase home heating expenses.

If you’re still confused, just call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric, and our plumbers will be happy to help you determine what’s best for your home in Northwest Texas. Just know the worst thing you can do is continue to ignore service, repair, and maintenance on the system that gives you the luxury of hot water for bathing and cleaning.

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