We rarely think about our water heaters, yet this powerful system is essential to perform your daily routines, including showering, washing dishes and clothes, and cooking. If you’re curious about how water heaters work, what types of water heaters are currently on the market, and whether or not a particular system would work for your needs, our team at Drip Drop Plumbing are walking you through everything you need to know, so when this major purchase comes around, you can make a more informed decision.
“Do I Need a New Water Heater?”
When your water heater isn’t performing the way it should, you are confronted with the choice of whether you should repair or replace your system. While no one is excited about making such a large investment, there are some warning signs that your home will actually benefit from a full water heater replacement.
Signs you need a new water heater include:
- Your water heater is over 10 years old: Older water heaters run less efficiently and require more maintenance, until eventually it totally breaks down. So, if your water heater is getting up there in years, it might be time to look at newer, more energy-efficient models.
- Frequent repairs: Are you noticing that you are calling your plumber more than once a year to help fix your water heater? You could be throwing more money at your system than just buying a new water heater.
- Constantly running out of hot water: If your water heater is no longer fulfilling your hot water needs, it doesn’t matter how old the system is, it isn’t serving you as optimally as it could be. Luckily, there are plenty of models on the market that can match your needs and budget.
4 Types of Water Heaters
When you are looking for a new water heater, there are a few things to consider before pulling the trigger. Namely, your needed capacity and the system warranty. No matter which type of water heater you choose, it is important to have a system that can meet your hot water needs, and when anything breaks down, you are confident you are under warranty.
The 4 most common residential water heaters include:
- Storage tank (traditional) water heater: Coming in natural gas and electric models, these systems work by utilizing an insulated tank to heat and store water. The best way to evaluate capacity is through the “first-hour” rating, which evaluates the number of gallons the system can deliver within an hour if it is starting at a full tank. This is often found on the EnergyGuide label.
- Tankless water heater: Often called the “on-demand” water heater, this energy-efficient system doesn’t store hot water, but instead uses heating coils to heat water when you need it. Unlike tanked systems, the best way to evaluate capacity for this water heater is GPM, or gallons-per-minute.
- Heat pump water heater: Also called a hybrid water heater, this system uses heat from the air to heat the water inside a large tank. While not a great choice for homes in frigid climates, this system is even more energy-efficient than even the most efficient electric water heaters.
- Condensing water heater: This option works perfectly for homes that use gas and need a high-capacity water heater. Like a traditional water heater, this unit has a storage tank but pulls exhaust gases that would normally go to waste to heat your water. It can hold over 55 gallons, making it ideal for large spaces.
If after reading, you still aren’t sure what type of system would work best for you, contact our water heater experts at Drip Drop Plumbing! Our knowledgeable professionals will walk you through the replacement process every step of the way.
Are you ready to have a water heater installed that fits your home perfectly? Call our Addison plumbing experts at Drip Drop Plumbing today at (630) 557-1712 to speak with one of our friendly staff members. We serve homes throughout the greater Chicago Metropolitan area.