Why does a new hot water heater cost so much?

In recent years, a new hot water heater became a little more expensive. New energy guidelines are the biggest reason for the price increase. In the short run, this means a new water heater purchased after April 2015 will cost more. In the long run, you could be saving money on your utility bill.

Heating water is the second largest energy expense in most homes. It’s no surprise that purchasing a new hot water heater that follows strict energy guidelines can save you money on your utility bills while being better for the earth. According to the Department of Energy, one of the reasons the manufacturing and design guidelines were updated was to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

If you’re in the market for a new hot water heater, consider the impacts of the Department of Energy’s requirements. While your new heater may be better for conservation, the heater itself may change in terms of size and cost.

Size of the Water Heater

While the size of your new hot water heater may not increase the price tag too much, it can impact the location your unit will fit. Many homeowners have just enough space set aside for their existing heater. Unfortunately, some of the new water heaters may increase in size by a few inches in diameter. This could cause you to have to relocate your heater if it doesn’t fit where your old one sits. Talk to your plumber before you purchase a new unit to make sure it will work in your space.

Manufacturing Costs

Unfortunately, new standards often bring higher price tags. Energy-saving technology is great for the environment and can even save you some money on your utility bill. However, it will cost more upfront.

Depending on your unit’s brand, model, size, and maintenance, it could take anywhere from two to ten years to offset the price tag of a super-efficient model. Talk with your plumber to determine if the energy savings outweigh the price tag.

Plan for Your Purchase

If you have a space for your old water tank and you know the new tank isn’t going to fit, you’ll need to do one of the following options:

  1. Make your space bigger, if possible.
  2. Downsize your water heater tank size.
  3. Relocate your new hot water heater somewhere else in your home.

Talk to your plumber to determine which option makes the most sense. Depending on the size of your family and the layout of your home, some options may be more suitable than others. For example, a family of two could get away with using a smaller tank size than a family of six.

Consider What You’re Getting

Water heaters are becoming more advanced. Just because you had one installed a decade ago, doesn’t mean a new one will work the same way. You will need to:

  • Learn how to operate your new hot water heater.
  • Hire a plumber to install your heater safely and correctly.

Although a new hot water heater is an expensive purchase, consider what you’re getting. You probably don’t think about how much you rely on hot water until it breaks down. From taking a nice hot bath to washing your hands with warm water and from doing a load of laundry to running your dishwasher, hot water is a modern-day convenience many of us don’t go a day without using.

If you have questions or are ready to schedule the installation of your new hot water heater, contact Forrest Anderson.

How to maintain a new water heater

If you recently had to buy a new water heater, then you know how costly they can be. The good news is that with regular maintenance and inspection, you can make sure your purchase lasts as long as possible. Keep the following tips in mind for maintaining a water heater.

New Water Heater Life Expectancy

Water heaters can last for several years with regular maintenance and inspection. According to manufacturers, conventional water heaters have a life expectancy of eight to 12 years. Tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years.

Whether you can’t remember when you purchased your water heater or you just moved into a new home and are unsure of the age of your unit, Forrest Anderson can help. Give us a call and share your make, model, and serial number and we’ll be able to find the year for you.

Conventional Water Heater Maintenance

Water heaters with a tank are also called conventional water heaters. They require maintenance tasks from time to time; otherwise, your water heater won’t be able to do its job. You’ll also have a higher chance of it breaking down without proper care.

Adjust the Temperature

One way to monitor your conventional water heater is by adjusting the temperature setting from time to time. If your unit is in your garage, it probably doesn’t need to be set as high in August, since the outdoor temperature will naturally warm your unit. Lowering the temperature on your heater can save you money on energy costs. As the temperature cools off, you’ll want to make sure your heater’s temperature remains in a safe zone, so your water isn’t so hot that it scalds you.

Drain the Heater

Most manufacturers recommend draining your water heater at least once per year. This cleans out any sediments or minerals that are inside the tank. The draining process involves shutting off the water supply to your heater and using a hose to drain it. If you’re unsure of how to do this, it’s a good idea to let a professional plumber do it for you. While they’re at your house, they can inspect any plumbing issues you may be having as well.

Inspect the Pressure Relief Valve

Once a year, you should have your water heater’s pressure relief valve inspected. A plumber can quickly check to see if there’s a leak. Fixing this is as easy as replacing the valve.

Maintain Clearance

You can do your part in taking care of your new water heater by making sure that there’s enough open space around it. How much space depends on your unit. Most gas water heaters require at least two feet of service clearance. Electric water heaters may not have a minimum clearance requirement. However, there may be codes that recommend workspace clearance. Your plumber will review the manufacturer’s recommendations in the instruction manual as well as follow any local requirements.

Replace the Anode Rod

Your anode rod helps prevent your water heater from rusting. A plumber should check this every three years to determine whether or not your heater needs a new rod. If it’s worn out, covered with calcium deposits, or damaged, your plumber will recommend replacement. This will help your tank continue to run at its optimal level.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Although tankless water heaters don’t hold gallons of water like their conventional counterparts, they still require regular maintenance.

Regular Descaling

Tankless water heaters can have mineral buildup, which can affect their life expectancy. This is common in areas that have hard water. Descaling is an important maintenance task that removes mineral buildup. Hiring a plumber to handle this job helps ensure that the buildup is fully removed.

Flush the Heater

When you have a new water heater, you’ll need to flush it from time to time. Flushing a tankless water heater helps keep it in good condition for years by clearing out any scaling or sediments. Since this process involves turning off power and water, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. During their visit, they can also check your fans, filtration, vents, and other components.

Routine Maintenance

Just like regularly changing your vehicle’s oil prolongs the life of your car, proper water heater maintenance can lead to longer functioning as well. If it’s time to schedule maintenance for your new water heater, contact Forrest Anderson today.

What is a hot water recirculating system?

Depending on the size of your home and the distance between your water heater and your faucets, there may be a delay before hot water reaches you. If you find yourself waiting for a few minutes every morning while your shower water heats up, you may want to consider a hot water recirculating system.

The EPA estimates that a standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. That means if you run your water for three minutes while you wait for it to heat up each morning, you’re wasting 2,737 gallons of water per year! Now, multiply that by the number of people in your family. That’s a LOT of wasted water!

What is a Hot Water Recirculating System?

Think about how your existing plumbing works. When you turn on your faucet, the cold water in your pipes flows out first. While you wait for the hot water to move from your water heater to the faucet, the cold water flows down your drain, unused. In addition to wasting water, this process also wastes money.

A hot water recirculating system moves water through your pipes so hot water is available immediately. This can save you a lot of money on your water bill since you won’t be running it while you wait for the water to warm up.

If you don’t like the idea of flushing your money down your pipes, consider installing a hot water recirculating system.

Types of Recirculating Systems

Before you take the leap and call your plumber to schedule installation, consider the types of systems available to you.

Dedicated Loop

This system requires the plumber to mount a circulation pump on the pipe of your existing water heater. Then, a hot water pipe is installed in a loop throughout your home, going near each of your plumbing fixtures.

Your plumber will install a small pipe to connect the loop to the hot water valve at each plumbing fixture in your home. When you turn on your faucet, hot water will be immediately available.

Integrated Loop

Integrated loop hot water recirculating systems can be retrofitted into your existing system or installed during new construction. This system has a pump that a plumber installs under the farthest plumbing fixture from your water heater. It has a built-in sensor that switches the pump on when the water drops below 85 degrees. The pump will automatically shut off when the water temperature hits 95 degrees. Some newer systems are adjustable to a homeowner’s preference, between 77 and 104 degrees.

Benefits of a Hot Water Recirculating System

Many homeowners install this system for the joy of having hot water instantly available. Imagine turning on your shower and being able to step in right away, without a jolt of ice cold water. Or, turning on the faucet and washing your hands with comfortably warm water right away. It may seem like a luxury, but it’s within reach with a recirculating system.

Another reason people install these systems in their homes is that it lowers their water waste. Living in the desert is a constant reminder that water is a valuable resource.

In addition to wasting water and money, waiting for hot water is also a waste of your time. If you spend three minutes each morning waiting for your shower water to heat up and three minutes each night waiting for the sink water to be warm enough to wash your face, you’re waiting for warm water six minutes each day. That’s 2,190 minutes a year. That’s 36.5 hours; or, one day, 12 hours, and 30 minutes spent waiting! Imagine what you could do with an extra day and a half.

Talk to the Professionals

Whether you want to help the earth and conserve water or you love the idea of having hot water available instantly, these systems are a great way to accomplish your goal. If you aren’t sure whether or not a hot water recirculating system would work in your home, contact Forrest Anderson to learn more.

7 commercial water heating tips

Reliable commercial water heating is essential for your business. Your hot water supply needs to maintain the right quality and stability for customers and employees. When it’s time to select a new commercial water heater, consider the following factors.

Choose the Right Type of Water Heater

Commercial water heating systems are available in storage and tankless options. Storage water heaters have a tank that holds a certain number of gallons of heated water. Tankless water heaters use a heat exchanger to warm up water on demand.

The type that would work best for your company depends on certain factors, such as how much space you have and how often customers and employees use hot water. Keep in mind that there are also different models available for each type of water heater. For example, some storage water heaters run on gas, while others run on electricity.

Select the Right Heating Source

Commercial water heating systems can run using different heating sources. Some of these include electricity, gas, propane, oil, and heat pumps.

  • Electric and gas are the more commonly used heating sources.
  • Propane and oil are usually only used when a gas source isn’t available.
  • Heat pumps offer improved efficiency compared to other heating sources. These use heat pulled from the air to warm up water.

Consider Your Budget

Installation and maintenance costs for commercial water heating systems can vary greatly. In general, storage water heaters tend to cost less initially. Tankless water heater installation is usually higher; however, the energy efficiency savings may offset the price.

You’ll also want to consider maintenance and repair costs. Tankless water heaters generally need less maintenance over the years. It’s also easier to replace a damaged part, rather than replacing the whole unit, like a storage water heater usually requires.

Talk to a plumber to learn more about the typical installation, maintenance, and repairs costs of the units you’re comparing.

Find the Right Size

How much hot water does your building need on a regular basis? Determining this can help you figure out how large your water heater should be. One that’s too small won’t provide employees and customers with enough hot water. A water heater that’s too big will end up costing you more money.

Determine How Much Space You Have

Storage water heaters require more space than tankless water heaters. If you have limited space, a tankless water heater might turn out to be a better option. These commercial water heaters need a much smaller amount of space than storage water heaters.

Compare Energy Efficiency

Commercial water heating systems vary greatly when it comes to energy efficiency. Energy efficient water heaters will likely cost more upfront, but can save your business money on utility bills over time.

Tankless water heaters typically provide greater efficiency than storage water heaters, since they only heat water when customers or employees need it. On the other hand, storage water heaters keep a steady supply of hot water available. Since tankless commercial water heating systems only run when they need to, they cut down on your energy usage.

Look into Water Heater Lifespans

Not all commercial water heating systems last the same amount of time. With proper maintenance, tankless water heaters can last around 20 years. Storage heaters typically last about ten years. A longer lifespan means you won’t have to worry about replacing your water heater as frequently.

If you have any questions about commercial water heating, contact Forrest Anderson.