According to the US Department of Energy, water heaters account for 18% of your electricity costs (the 2nd biggest energy user in your home). Because water heaters have become more energy efficient in the last 20 years, a Van Rooy Plumbing technician can help you select a water heater that can reduce your energy costs and give you an ample supply of hot water in your home.
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a new water heater, including type (tankless or storage), capacity, efficiency, and cost.
Capacity. Do not buy a heater larger than you need. Although some consumers base their purchase on the size of the storage tank, the peak hour demand (or qualifying first time, FHR) is actually more important. The FHR is the measure of how much hot water the heater will deliver in an hour and is required by law to appear on the Energy Guide label. Your technician will perform a capacity test to determine the right size water heater for your home. The capacity of gallons should be based on the number of occupants, not the size of home. The peak hour water demand, the number of faucets, sinks, and tubs should also be taken under consideration.
Efficiency. The energy efficiency of a storage water heater is indicated by its “Energy Factor” (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. Gas water heaters have an EF between 0.50 and 0.60, with some high-efficiency models around 0.80. Other features to look for are tanks with at least 1.5 inches of foam insulation and energy efficiency ratings shown on the Energy Guide labels.
Cost. It may be tempting to look for a water heater that is inexpensive and ignore the operating cost. This is a poor strategy. Often the least expensive water heaters are the most expensive to operate. A high-efficiency water heater may cost a little more initially, but reduced operating costs will more than make up for the higher outlay. Check the Energy Guide label to help choose an energy thrifty heater.
Is it time to replace your water heater?
If your water heater is over five years old, is no longer producing enough hot water, or there is a puddle of water at the base - YES, it is time to consider replacement of the water heater elements or the entire unit.
Is your water heater under warranty?
Based on the serial and model numbers, we can determine if your unit is covered by the manufacturer's warranty.