If your dishwasher, or maybe your microwave breaks and needs to be replaced, well – you can get by for a day or two without those. You wash your dishes by hand, you cook on your stove, ok, it’s do-able. It may be a little inconvenient, but it’s no big deal (in spite of what your kids may say). You can take a little time (though not too much!) to do some research and figure out which type, kind, and model you need – and then decide where you want to buy it so you can get the best deal.
But when a family’s hot water heater goes down – that’s a different matter all together. No hot water and it’s all hands on deck and man the lifeboats because – Houston – we’ve got a problem!There are some appliances in a home that may not need to be purchased or replaced immediately, but your hot water heater isn’t one of them. Life gets pretty tough when three kids (and the dog!) all need a bath, there are 8 baskets of laundry backed up, and your family is eating pop tarts for dinner because there aren’t any clean plates.
It’s amazing how a little thing like no hot water can bring life to a screeching halt, isn’t it?
Water heaters chug along pretty reliably, until – they don’t. Warning signs that they’re ailing or reaching the end of their life span are easy to miss. So when we get a call that a water heater needs to be replaced, it’s often “as soon as possible,” but preferably – yesterday. When this is the case, it can be difficult to do the research or take the time to choose your new water heater wisely. Particularly if you had a cold shower that morning.
But we’d like to urge you to – please – don’t go out and buy the first water heater you see. Here are our recommendations for what do you want to consider in purchasing a new water heater:
The size of your home and the size of your family is, of course, the most important thing in determining what kind of water heater to get. Even though there are guidelines for how many gallons per hour, etc. – there are other considerations, of course. For instance, if you have a family of four, but one of them is a teenager, you may need the same size water heater that a family of 8 would use. This is just an observation, based on experience. And having a teenager.
Where you live
The first considerations are going to be where you live. Thanks to our mild winters, and oven-like summers, a home in Arizona will use less energy to heat – well, actually – just about anything in the course of a year. This will certainly affect the type of water heater and insulation you need.
Older homes built smaller areas where water heaters were installed; safety and wall distance issues may dictate what kind of the water heater you can get. Also – sometimes there has been an addition to a home, and that needs to be factored in as well.
Current system – gas or electric?
Of course, how your house is already set up – whether it runs on gas or electricity, may be one of the main determining factors. However, we have noticed a trend in all-electric homes toward installing gas lines so it’s possible to switch to a gas water heater. Long-term lower cost and energy efficiency often make this an attractive option. If you’re going to be in the home for awhile, it might be time to look at installing a gas water heating system.
While cost is always an issue, of course, this is one place where skimping doesn’t pay off in the long run. We’d like to encourage you to get the best water heater your budget can afford.
Given the energy crisis and Arizona’s drought issues – it’s not just important – it’s crucial to look into high energy efficient water heating systems. Not only is it the right thing to do, you also get a water heater with an Energy Star rating. There are rebates and tax credits possible to help defray the cost through 2016.
Storage or tankless?
Storage water heaters are the most common, and the ones most people are familiar with. They have a tank that holds anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons of water, and the tank is heated by either gas or electricity. Storage tanks stay hot continuously, even when not being used. Tankless, on the other hand, will heat water only as needed, without storing it or heating all the time, and they also run on either gas or electric. The difference is that a storage water heating system is less expensive up front, but will cost more to run, while a tankless water heater is more expensive up front, but will ultimately cost less and be more energy efficient in the long run.
These are the considerations to start with, but if you’re already feeling overwhelmed about which water heater to choose – don’t be. Here at Moon Valley Plumbing – water heaters are one of the things we specialize in! We’ll take the time to sit down with you and help you understand the pro’s and con’s of all the different makes and models on the market today, so you can make not only an informed decision – but the best decision for your family’s needs.
We have years of experience in working on and installing only the best, top-quality water heaters on the market today, and our recommendations are always based on the brands and models we know work the best. That means we’re not going to tell you which kind to get, but we will help you make the choice you’re happy with. We aren’t in the business of selling a particular water heater, but we are in the business of helping our customers figure out which is the best water heating system for their needs. And then – we can get it installed for you – fast – so you can get your life back on track!