Nothing is more annoying than running out of hot water during a cold winter season. Water heaters play a significant role in any household. They allow you to enjoy hot water for showering, clothes washing, and dishwashing. In fact, 20 percent of your household budget is spent on hot water heating, following closely after heating and cooling.
Despite this high expense, many homeowners typically ignore water heaters until they break down, leaving them in the wrath of cold water. If you have been conducting efficient water heater maintenance and your unit keeps breaking down, Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning recommend planning for a water heater replacement as soon as possible. Purchasing a new unit can be a daunting prospect, and that’s why we created this guide to help you know what to look for when buying a water heater.
Is It Time To Replace Your Water Heater? Know the Warning Signs
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The average water heater lasts about 10 to 30 years and should account for about 20 percent of your utility bill. That means you don’t need to be in a hurry to replace the unit unless it is leaking or it fails to produce hot water more frequently than usual. If your unit is less than ten years old, we usually do not recommend replacing it until we’ve inspected it and determined it cannot be repaired. Here are the warning signs that your heater needs to be replaced:
- The unit is older than ten years
- Rusty heater or water inlet valve
- Strange noises when you turn on the hot water
- Water heater leaking
- Heater not heating water
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hot Water Heater Unit in the Greater Sacramento Area
Assess your hot water needs and determine the right tank size for your home. Don’t assume that the tank size you owned previously had a suitable heating capacity. Remember, you will be using this unit for the next ten years or more. Will your family be bigger, or will you be living alone by this time? Such questions can help you assess your present and future needs. Check the First Hour Rating or FHR on the tank heater to know the number of gallons of hot water that can be produced in an hour.
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Check the EF label to know the efficiency of your potential water heater. EF represents the percentage of energy that is turned into hot water. Typically, the higher the number, the more efficient the unit is and the less it will cost to operate. While EF is great, remember to factor in the cost of energy used to reach that efficiency level to understand how much it costs to operate. In most cases, models with high EF ratings cost more to run than similar models of lower EFs.
You also need to decide whether you want an electric, gas, or oil water heater. The choice you make will determine the energy efficiency you receive from your unit. Electric heaters are quiet, lightweight, and highly efficient, while oil-fired heaters heat water faster than electric and oil heaters. However, they tend to be heavier than other heaters due to the thick lining in the combustion chamber.
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You can enquire about some of the maintenance practices the unit requires and periodically perform them and get technicians to inspect the unit annually. A water heater can last even 30 years if well maintained, but most units fail due to neglect. Hiring Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning for your annual water heater maintenance can help improve efficiency, prevent costly repairs, and increase your water heater’s lifespan.
Get in Touch With Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning First
Not sure whether your water heater needs repair or replacement? Contact Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning in the greater Sacramento area and book an appointment with us.