An average household consumes up to 64 gallons of water each day, according to Energy.gov. The amount of money spent on heating the water accounts for about 14-18 percent of your energy bills, making it the second-largest expense in your home. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about your water heaters and how you can save money on your plumbing. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a plumber in Schertz, TX.
Types of Water Heaters
There are different types of water heaters you can install for your home: conventional water heaters, tankless water heaters, heat pumps and solar water heaters.
Standard water heaters – Expect a conventional heater to last 10-15 years. How long exactly depends on the maintenance performed on your unit. Make sure you flush out the sediment buildup to prevent leaks and other issues with your water heater. You may need to also install a water softener when there is a higher concentration of hard water in your home. Talk to a plumber in Schertz, TX, if you want to know how this works.
There is standby heat loss with the storage tank because the water is constantly heated 24/7 to maintain its temperature. The solution to this is to insulate the tank to reduce energy loss and lower your operating costs. Talk to one of our plumbers so we can give you options on how to properly insulate your water heater tank. If your unit is more than 10 years old, we may suggest you switch to a tankless water heater instead as it’s more energy-efficient. For installation, make sure to only hire a licensed plumber.
Tankless water heaters – Compared to the conventional water heater, the tankless version lasts longer — about 20 plus years. With a tankless water heater, you get a constant supply of hot water. It’s also up to 34 percent more efficient than the storage tank. You can save up to $100 each year by installing a tankless water heater.
One of the drawbacks is the limited flow rate. We suggest you install two or more tankless water heaters especially when more people will be using hot water at one time. Talk to one of our plumbers in Schertz, TX, so we can give you the best options.
Heat pumps – Similar to the conventional heater, heat pumps also last 10-15 years. However, they are 2 to 3 times more energy-efficient than the conventional water heater. To help you save money, consider installing ENERGY STAR heat pumps and save up to $300 on your water bills each year.
One of its drawbacks is that performance depends on where the heat pump is installed. Keep in mind that this type of unit can exhaust cold air, therefore increasing the load on your air conditioning during the summer months. The solution is to switch your heat pump to a regular resistance mode — but you will need to sacrifice the efficiency of your appliance when you make the switch. Talk to a plumber, if you want to know more about water heaters and which type of unit is best for your home.
Solar water heaters – They last about 20 years and are more efficient than electric or gas water heaters. However, they may need a backup system. If you want to install a solar water heating system for your home, you may need to also purchase a storage water heater tank. Talk to a plumber to help you make an educated decision on which water heater to install for your home.
How to Choose a Water Heater
There are several factors to consider when choosing a water heater: fuel type, efficiency, size, cost, and maintenance of your unit.
Compare the fuel cost if you have more than one option available. For a storage tank, you can use electricity, propane, natural gas, and fuel oil as your fuel source. Tankless water heaters only operate using electricity, natural gas and propane. For heat pumps, you can choose electricity, natural gas and geothermal energy. You can only use solar energy for a solar water heater.
To maximize your energy savings, we recommend you choose energy-efficient water heaters. The efficiency of a water heater is determined by how efficient the heat exchanger is, standby losses and cycling losses. Consider switching to ENERGY STAR units to save more energy. Tankless water heaters don’t have standby heat losses, so it’s a more efficient option too.
When purchasing a new water heater, don’t just look at the cost of the new unit. You need to also consider the installation cost, operating cost and maintenance cost. All these factors determine whether the water heater is worth the investment.
To ensure you have enough hot water for the entire family, you need to calculate your peak-hour hot water demand and use the figure to help you determine what size of water heater to purchase for your home. Our plumbers at Schertz, TX, can help — get in touch with us at your earliest convenience and we are more than happy to assist.
Water Heater Maintenance
You can extend the lifespan of your water heater with regular maintenance. For a standard water heating system, homeowners must flush the sediment buildup in the tank at least once a year. You must also check the pressure valve every six months and replace the anode rods ( the frequency depends on whether you have hard or soft water at home.)
For a solar water heater, you will need to hire a solar contractor to help you properly maintain your unit. If you’re ready to install a new water heater, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a plumber.
Water Heater Installation
Installing a water heater isn’t a DIY project. Your home may need new wiring or gas lines, and this can be dangerous for inexperienced individuals. We highly recommend you contact a plumber in Schertz, TX, to help you install your new unit.
Hiring a qualified plumber also ensures he will adhere to codes and permit requirements during installation. Most importantly, a licensed plumber can help you choose the water heater suitable for your home.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
Are you thinking of getting a new water heater? We suggest you consider buying the tankless version to save more energy. Below are some of the benefits of tankless water heaters. For installation, make sure to hire a licensed plumber.
Instant Hot Water – When you turn on the tap, the cold water circulates through the heat exchanger and is heated to your preset temperature. The tankless version heats water as needed, giving you instant hot water when you turn on the tap.
However, the lag time can be a problem especially when you live in a large home and the tankless water heater isn’t installed close to the outlet. Talk to a plumber about this so they can help you install point-of-use tankless water heaters to reduce lag time.
Lasts Longer – Compared to conventional water heaters, the tankless version last twice as long. You can expect it to last 20 years or more. Just make sure to properly maintain your water heater so that it lasts longer. Get professional maintenance so a plumber can check your unit for any problems that need to be addressed.
Saves Money – One of the biggest benefits of installing a tankless water heater is the energy savings. You don’t waste energy because you’re not constantly heating the water. While the purchase and installation cost is more expensive compared to standard water heating systems, you get to save more money in the long run. You can even maximize your energy savings by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances. Talk to one of our plumbers in Schertz, TX, to help you make an educated decision on which type of water heater to install for your home.
Saves Space- storage tanks can take up a lot of space as they’re bulky and huge. With a tankless water heater, you can conveniently mount them on the bathroom wall or place them inside the cabinet. It’s a huge benefit especially when you live in a smaller home.
Constant Supply of Hot Water – So long as you have the right size and flow rate, you’ll never run out of hot water with the tankless version. Also, because there’s no storage tank stored in the basement, there’s no need to worry about a catastrophic leak that may cost you a fortune in repairs and restorations.
Because they last longer than the standard models, you may get longer warranties with the tankless water heater. This means you won’t have to pay the repair costs in case there might be issues with the unit. However, you need to hire licensed installers only, or your warranty might be voided. Contact bluefrog Plumbing today if you need help with professional installation. Our team can install any water heater. We can also help you choose the right size and flow rate for your new unit.
Tips for Buying a Tankless Water Heater
Are you thinking of getting a tankless water heater and have no idea how to go about choosing the right unit? Check out these tips:
- To ensure you don’t run out of hot water, make sure to know your maximum flow rate. First, decide how many appliances or hot water devices you intend to use at one time. Know their flow rates and then add them to determine your maximum flow rate.
- You need to also factor in location as groundwater temperatures also affect water output in tankless heaters. Talk to a plumber about this so we can help you determine which size to purchase.
- If you already have gas lines at home, it would be ideal to invest in gas-powered models. These models are powerful and can give you the fastest response time.
- Electric units require little maintenance. You simply need to clean the water inlets regularly. Gas-powered units will need professional inspection regularly to ensure it’s safe and in excellent condition.
How to Save Money on Your Water Heater
Below are some helpful tips to help you save on your water bills:
- Use less hot water. Consider using cold water in the laundry to save energy.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucets. These inexpensive fixtures can help you save up to 60 percent on your water bills.
- Buy a more efficient model; the tankless water heater is ideal for energy savings. If you have a bigger budget, consider installing a solar water heater to maximize your savings.
- Buy ENERGY STAR appliances not just for your water heater but also for washing machines and dishwashers.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on how to properly insulate your water heater tank and the plumbing pipes for better energy savings.
- Fix leaks right away. One drip per second will cost you about a dollar a month. Call a plumber today to help you fix water leaks.
Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio Today!
Are you ready to install a new water heater? Contact a plumber in Schertz, TX, today for installation. At bluefrog Plumbing, we are committed to providing top-notch plumbing services including water heater installation, repairs and maintenance. Our team can also install any type of water heater from gas-powered to electric water heaters.
We are an established plumbing company fully dedicated to our work. Rest assured, our team works hard to exceed expectations. We go the extra mile to ensure you’re completely delighted with our service. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio is also available 24/7 to cater to everyone, especially those needing emergency services. Call us today for an appointment!