It’s inevitable. At some point, you’ll start to notice the warning signs that your water heater needs replacing.
Is your water no longer as hot as it used to be? Does your water heater seem to be communicating with you through rumbling and banging sounds every time you use it? You may discover that your water heating system is rusting away on the inside and leaking rusty water. Or it could be the realization that your outdated water heater is about 8 to 10 years old, assuming you’ve been keeping track.
Whatever the obvious signs are and whether you are buying a new water heater for a new home or replacing an old one, you’ll discover that there is more than one option when it comes to water heating systems.
And because the more your existing water heater starts to fail you and you realize how your life would suck without heated water, it’s wise to do your research and choose one that is right for you and your home’s needs.
The first question you should be asking yourself is:
Gas or Electric?
The type of energy available in your home will ultimately decide which type of water heater you should buy. Here are the main types of water heaters to help you get started on your decision:
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Standard storage tank water heaters can use a gas flame or electric heating to heat water. They offer a ready reservoir from between 20 to 80 gallons of hot water and operate by releasing the hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap. These remain the most popular water heating systems because they’re the cheapest to purchase.
The standard versions are not entirely efficient, and standby heat loss will occur even when a hot water tap isn’t running. If you’re thinking about the environment, there are high-efficiency storage tank water heater models available in both gas and electric. And as the name implies, they’re more efficient than their standard counterparts. As you probably already guessed; they will cost you more. However, you could be looking at electric bill savings because they use up to 10% to 20% less energy.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. This type of water heater provides hot water only as needed. Because tankless water heaters only heat water when you turn on the faucet, there’s no standby heat loss. Tankless water heaters also come in gas and electric models.
The downside is that this type of water heater is going to cost you. However, you can consider it as an investment since they will last you about 20 years, depending on the brand. And because they’re about 8-34% more efficient than storage water heaters, you could potentially save $100 or more annually on your gas bills.
Other Types of Water Heaters
Beyond the two main water heater types and their variants that we’ve mentioned, there are also:
● water heaters that run on solar power
● tankless coil water heaters that boast no standby heat loss as they use the home’s heating system to heat water
● heat pump water heaters that move heat from place to another
● indirect water heaters that use a main furnace or boiler as the heat source
Ultimately, the right water heater for you depends on your hot water demands and if you’re thinking long-term. Storage water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years while tankless water heaters can last you about two decades. Budget also obviously plays a big part and instead of thinking about month-to-month efficiency, you might be thinking about what you can afford right now.
You probably didn’t realize that there were so many options when it comes to deciding the right water heater. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many choices, we’re here to help. The talented plumbers at Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning in Houston can walk you through all your water heater questions. We can even take a look at your existing water heating system and determine if you do, in fact, need a replacement or simply need it repaired.
We’ve provided superior plumbing services in the Greater Houston area for almost 40 years. For all of your plumbing needs, call Nick’s Plumbing Air Conditioning at 713.868-9907 today!