How Long Should Your Hot Water Heater Last?

It would be nice to know when the time is right to replace your water heater before it springs a leak and causes an inconvenience or worse yet, damage to your home.  Typically a residential hot water heater lasts between 6 and 12 years.  Beyond 12 years, you are on borrowed time! The longevity of your tank is affected by things like the type of water running through it and whether you have maintained a schedule of draining and flushing the tank every year as recommended by tank manufacturers.  In reality, this is seldom done by homeowners.  Congratulations if you are among those that do!

Water heater problems normally become self-evident:  you turn the hot water faucet on and it fails to summon hot water, you see dripping or puddles near the water heater or the tank emits unusual gurgling or popping sounds. These are the most common warning signs that your hot water heater is likely in need of replacing.

If you determine you have some of these warning signs you have time to review your choices of type, size and model rather than rushing to find a replacement on a Friday night after it has leaked all over your home.

Here are some signs that you may be ready for a new hot water heater:

  • AGE: On average, your hot water heater should last anywhere between 6 to 12 years.
  • WATER: When you use your hot water, does the water look a bit tinted?  If so, there may be rust in your water heater, this is likely an indicator that your water heater is showing signs of wear and may begin leaking.
  • GURGLING or POPPING: These noises are caused by the buildup of hard water sediment heating up inside your water heater tank.
  • MOISTURE: Look around the base of your hot water heater for dampness, this may be a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
  • COLD WATER: An unexpected cold shower is not only bad way to start your day, it’s an indicator that your hot water heater needs to be checked out by a professional.
  • PUDDLES:  It’s time to call, to look into replacing your water heater ASAP!

What kind of hot water heater do you need?
These are some key questions you should consider in your decision making process.

  • Are you looking to invest in a conventional or tankless hot water heater?
  • How many gallons of hot water do you need during peak usage?
  • How many users are in your home? It has likely changed since your last installation.

To help you better answer these questions and find the right hot water heater for your home, contact us at your convenience.  We’ll gladly provide you with all the information you need to make an informed, educated decision.

April’s Energy Saving Tips!

We all look for ways to save money in our daily lives and if we manage to help the environment and be a little “greener” while we are at it, all the better.  By decreasing your individual energy consumption you can reduce your monthly utility bills and become more eco-friendly at the same time.

Here are a few tips on how you can save valuable energy and put a little money back in your pocket.

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can be installed for approximately $200 – $250 and can save up to $200 per year by automatically turning up your air conditioning and turning down your heat during certain times of the day and night. Using a programmable thermostat and adjusting the temperature in your home while you are at work or asleep, can save you up to 30% on energy.
  • Consider installing a tankless water heater. Although a tankless water heater requires a larger initial investment, the savings realized in the long run outweighs the upfront cost. Tankless water heaters are designed to heat water on demand, water is not stored and continuously heated as it is in traditional water heaters.
  • Be judicious when deciding what temperature to set your home at. According to the EPA, you can save up to 3% on your energy bills simply by adjusting your thermostat just one degree, either up or down depending on the season. You will notice the savings, but not the temperature difference.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. By washing your clothing at colder temperatures (70-80°F) you will use approximately 40% less electricity than at higher temperatures.  This could save as much as $100 per year. Additionally, conserve water by washing full loads, when necessary to wash a small load, use the economy setting if available.
  • Unplug appliances and invest in a load monitor. According to a recent IBM study, you can reduce your monthly electric bills by as much as 15% by knowing how much power you are actually using when your appliances are not in use, but still plugged in. Load monitors display how much energy any plugged in device is consuming and when it is using that energy. Monitors help determine which appliances should be turned off and unplugged when not in use. There are even programmable load monitors that are designed to cut power automatically.