If your water heater is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it.

Water Heaters are often the second highest energy user in the home. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it. When looking to replace your hot water heater upgrade to a new ENERGY STAR certified water heater. Water heaters that have earned the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to save energy and protect the environment.

Choosing to replace an old water heater or looking at new home there are different options available to you.

There are gas and electric storage water heaters. An ENERGY STAR certified electric storage water heater uses half the energy of a standard model. Theses water heaters save money over its life time by heating water with a highly efficient heat pump. It’s like an air conditioner run in reverse.

ENERGY STAR certified gas water heaters. These new storage water heaters use better insulation, heat traps, and more efficient combustion system.

Tankless Water Heaters

Is buying a tankless water heater worthwhile? Yes! Here are some reasons why:

Longer service life
Tankless water heaters when properly maintained can serve you for more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10-15 years.
Compact design
Thanks to the sleek design, these tanks take less space, and the design can make them look more attractive.
Low on operating costs
They heat water on demand, unlike the traditional heaters, which heat water on standby.
Unlimited supply of hot fresh water
The hot water flow does not depend on the storage tank. Therefor you will never run out of hot water.

When shopping for a tankless water heater, the first decision will be to decide the type.

Whole-Home Gas Tankless water heaters

The have a high upfront cost but operate at a lower cost. The money savings come from heating water only when needed, elimination energy lost during standby operations. When a hot water tap is turned on in the home, cold water is drawn into the water heater. A flow sensor activated the gas burner, warming the heat exchanger. Incoming cold water encircles the heat exchanger and leaves the heater at its set-point temperature. Combustion gases exit through a dedicated, sealed vent system. By not maintaining a tank full of hot water at all times, tankless water heaters can achieve greater efficiency.

With an ENERGY STAR certified gas tankless water heater called a “gas condensing” tankless water heater they use a secondary heat exchanger. These tankless water heaters can use 9% less energy than a conventional gas tankless water heater.

When water enters the heater, the water flow sensor detects the water flow and the computer automatically ignites the burner. Water then circulates through the heat exchanger and it is heated to the designated temperature. When the tap is turned off, the unit shuts down.

Whole-Home Electric water heaters

Compared with gas-fueled heaters, the electric type is less expensive to install. The other advantage is that they can be installed anywhere since there is no requirements for venting because electric water heaters do not release exhaust gasses. However, electric hot water heaters do take more energy to operate.

Electric Tankless Water Heater

The next decision will be what size of tankless water heater do you need?

Getting the correct size of a tankless water heater depends on a few factors and key features in your home.

Number of Bathrooms
It is important to know the number of bathrooms in your home and the most frequently used bathrooms. Do you use all of your bathrooms on a daily basis? Do you have guest bathrooms that are used infrequently? Do you have a larger family that all are showering daily around the same time. The size of your home and the size of your family can help you make the best decision.
Will you use the heater to multitask?
For some people, they install heaters for different tasks in the home. For example some people place a small tankless water heater for use in the kitchen or laundry room and another for use in the bathrooms. Take time and assess the cost and convenience when choosing one larger tank or multiply smaller tanks. Work with your plumber to access your needs.

Keep in mind that the higher the demand for hot water, the more powerful the heating system should be. Having a single, ultra-powerful tankless water heater may be the best option saving on installation, maintenance and monthly power bills.

For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand heaters can be 24%-34% more energy efficient. For a larger homes that uses 86 gallons per day they can be 8%-14% more energy efficient.

Household water flow rates
*High Efficiency dish washers may have a flow rate that is less than the activation flow rate required for certain tankless water heater models.

Regular Maintenance of your tankless water heater is important.

One factor that will affect the maintenance of you water heater is the hardness of the water. In the Western States we tend to have a higher percentage of water hardness. In a tank-type water heater, the minerals collect on the bottom of the storage tank; a tankless water heater pushes most of the scales through the system. When there is buildup, the burner will be forced to work at a higher temperature to properly heat the water. Some tankless water heaters come with scale detection software, providing an error message when service is required. The general rule of thumb is to service you tankless water heater once per year. For the DIY person kits are available to do it yourself along with YouTube Videos calling your plumber and having a maintenance contract with them may always be the best option.

Most important is the proper installation and maintenance of your demand water heater can optimize its energy efficiency. Therefore, it’s best to have a qualified plumber help look at your heating needs and properly install your demand water heater.

20 Years of ENERGY STAR
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