Is it time for you to get a new water heater? If it’s over 10 years old, you’re experiencing a leak, or it’s just not up to the task of heating your water anymore, you’re probably in need of a replacement. Thankfully, you have a few options when it comes to water heaters, and you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of each before you decide which is right for your home and family. Here are some reasons you may need a new appliance and five different types of water heaters to choose from.
How to Know Whether You Need a New Water Heater
A new water heater can be an unexpected expense for families. However, there are many signs that you may require one. They include:
- Water around the outside of your water heater – This could point to a leak.
- Damp carpet or flooring around the appliance
- Water that appears rusty or off-colored
- Running out of hot water quickly
- Frequent changes in water pressure or not enough water pressure
- Odd odors, like rotten eggs
- Rust around the water heater
If you any of these things arise, call a licensed plumber right away. It’s possible you may just be in need of repair or maintenance and don’t need a whole new water heater, but waiting to call can be costly.
The need for a new appliance doesn’t always happen as a result of a problem. Maybe:
- Your water heater’s size no longer fits your family’s needs.
- The heater is nearing the end of its lifespan – Water heaters tend to last around 10 years.
- You want a more energy-efficient model.
Read our full post on how to tell when it’s time to replace your water heater here.
Types of Water Heaters
1. Conventional Water Heater
The most well-known of water heaters is often called “conventional.” This is the tank version that consumers usually identify with home use. It works by storing your water in a tank and constantly heating it up. The tank comes insulated, so it stays warm without wasting an excessive amount of energy.
Conventional water heaters are still a popular choice among homeowners, but if you choose this type of water heater, you’ll want to ensure it meets your family’s needs. If the tank is too small, you’ll run out of hot water quickly in a large family.
Choosing Between Gas and Electric
There are two different types of conventional water heaters:
Although electric is more affordable upfront and easier to install, gas uses less energy to operate. This means gas could be the wiser choice for homeowners that have gas and electric in their home.
2. Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are also known as “on-demand” water heaters. Unlike conventional options, the tankless appliance works by heating up water as it flows by the burners. Average choices for this type of water heater can heat up two to five gallons of water per minute.
These water heaters can be more energy-efficient than other options, but they generally cost more to install.
Choosing Between Gas and Electric
Gas is usually recommended for tankless water heaters, as it is able to heat more water than electric versions can. If you opt for gas and need a new gas line, you’re adding to your upfront cost. Electric tankless models, however, may require upgrading the electrical system to handle the energy flow. An electric unit in Texas will have difficulty providing enough hot water for an average family’s daily usage.
3. Solar Water Heaters
Instead of electric or gas options, you could opt for a solar water heater. Relying on the sun for energy, this efficient option can be wonderful for those in sunny regions, especially in the summer. There are federal rebates offered for choosing solar-powered water heaters, with many states offering financial incentives as well.
Although solar is an energy-efficient choice, solar-powered water heaters can be very costly upfront. It may be 40 years before you see a return on your investment. And if weather conditions are not favorable for an extended period of time, the heater will require an alternative energy source.
4. Heat Pump Water Heaters
Also known as “hybrid electric water heaters,” heat pump heaters use heat from the ambient air or the ground, transferring it to the water. Under the right conditions, they can use about 60% less energy than other options.
An energy-efficient choice, this appliance also costs more upfront, though that money can be returned in the electricity you save rapidly. Heat pumps require quite a bit of space as well: up to seven feet of clearance between the floor and ceiling. They use more electric energy in colder seasons when the ambient temperature is colder.
5. Condensing Water Heaters
Similar in appearance to conventional options, a condensing heater captures hot exhaust gases from your natural gas system and uses them to heat your water.
A condensing water heater can be an amazing choice if your home already runs on natural gas. If it doesn’t, it can be costly to add. It’s also recommended for families that need over 55 gallons of water on a regular basis, as small models are difficult to find.
Conventional, tankless, solar-powered, heat pump, and condensing are the five choices when it comes to types of water heaters. Each has its pros and cons, and while some are more energy efficient than others, upfront costs may be a deterring factor. Talking to a professional can help you determine which of the five is right for your family and home.
Is it time for your family to buy a new water heater? We’d be happy to help you find the right appliance for your home, needs, and wants, as well as assist with the installation. Learn more about our water heater services here, and call us at 972-395-2597 for a consultation and appointment.
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