Your water heater is one of the largest sources of energy in your home. After heating and cooling, water heating can be about 15% of your utility bill. With that being said as a homeowner, you need to understand water heating in your house.
Water Heater Basics
- Keep the temperature of your water heater at an energy-efficient temperature. If your heater has two different thermometers like most do, be sure that both thermometers are set at the same temperature.
- A clothes washer and dishwasher are both major appliances that use a lot of energy when in use. To reduce the amount of energy used, purchase an energy-efficient and saving appliance.
- The average water heater will last about 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is more than 10 years old then it is time to start looking for a new unit. Advantages of replacing your unit sooner rather than later are:
- Prevent leaks
- The burner won’t stop
- Drain a quart of water from your tank every 3 to 6 months if your house has a tank water heater. This will drain sediment that makes it harder for the water heater to function properly.
What Heater Do I Choose?
Start research early when choosing a new water heater. There are a variety of water heaters to choose from. Researching what water heater will work best in your home will allow your water heater to run at its full potential.
Decide what type of fuel will be best in your home. Talk with your utility provider to see what fuel source will work best in your home and environment.
- Electric – Widely available in the United States and is one of the more common heating sources that your water heater will use. Large oils hang down into the tank and heat the water. An electric water heater is more costly to run but is less expensive upfront.
- Natural Gas – Fuels conventional storage or tankless, on-demand water heaters. Uses a gas burner at the bottom of the tank with a chimney that runs through the center. The water vapor and carbon dioxide are released through the chimney and then go off your house through the house chimney or a small wall vent.
- Propane – Used with conventional storage or tankless, on-demand water heaters. Works the same way as natural gas but uses propane instead of natural gas.
- Oil – Recommended for conventional storage water heaters. Again, oil works in the same way as natural gas and propane. Oil-water heaters produce more pollution and are not as efficient.
Pick a water heater that will meet the needs of your household. A home with more residents will require a water heater that will produce more hot water than a home with a single occupant. Below are two common water heaters in homes today.