Express Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

For the average homeowner, the only time you really think about your water heater is when it isn’t functioning correctly. Properly maintained water heaters usually have a life span of eight to fifteen years. You will eventually find yourself in the market for a new water heater. While shopping around, you will have many options available to you. This can be overwhelming to some people, even down to the choice between gas and electricity. We will go over some key points to help you decide which option is best for your home.

Heating water is actually one of the largest expenditures in the average home. It usually accounts for around 15% of our utility cost. This makes choosing the best option for your home even more important. First, you should find out what kind of energy hookups you have available in your home. If you are not routed for gas, the cost for running lines may deter you from choosing a gas-powered water heater. This is especially true for homeowners who plan to move in the future. They see no value in investing in the change if it is not their permanent home.

Standard water heaters use either a gas flame or an electric heating element to heat the water in the tank. While local costs can differ, typically gas water heaters are less expensive to operate. On the other hand, they do tend to cost more upfront to buy. So, the question you must ask yourself is, do I want to save money immediately? Is it more important to me to save money over time?

You do also have the option of considering high-efficiency tanks. These do cost more than standard tanks. But, as the name suggests, you will save more in the long run. The good news is that they do come in both gas and electric options. On gas models, you will find an energy factor (EF) number, which has been established by the U.S. Department of Energy. The bigger this number, the more efficient the water heater. The most efficient will be the Energy Star-certified models, which tend to use anywhere from 10-20% less energy than standard gas water heaters!

There are options for energy-efficient electric water heaters. These include heat pumps, or “hybrid”, water heaters. They work by pulling heat from the air around them into the tank. These are the only models certified by Energy Star and are more expensive than their gas counterparts. They are best for mild to hot climates because of the way they operate. The great part about these models is that they may use up to 65% less energy than standard electric heaters! Research these before buying. This is because they do require quite a bit of space to pull from. They also need to be located in an area of your home that remains between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Without proper surrounding temperature, they will not operate correctly.

If you are unsure of what type of water heater to go with, it is always a good idea to ask for a professional opinion. Licensed plumbers can evaluate your system and give you recommendations that will fit your home and budget. Call Express Plumbing Heating & Air today for your free quote!

Brad Jordan

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