High Efficiency Water Heaters – When to Update Your Old Water Heater

We've all heard the horror stories—water heater ruptures while residents are away and floods out the basement or the apartment below. These aren't just urban legends. They are very real daily occurrences. Is it time to change your water heater before disaster strikes?

Well, it depends:

  • How well has your water heater been maintained? Annual flushing, for example, can extend a water heater's life.
  • Where is the water heater in the house? If it's in the basement near a drain, a leak is less of an issue. If it's located on the main floor or you live above another apartment, a rupture could lead to expensive repairs, not to mention a strained relationship with your neighbour below.
  • How busy is your water heater? Its life expectancy is pretty well directly proportional to the amount of hot water used in the house.
  • What about the water quality? Hard water can leave deposits in the heater, reducing its lifespan.

A water heater nearing 10 years of age should be inspected professionally—earlier if any of the factors above come into play. A certified plumber will inspect and perform a routine maintenance of your unit and tell you what's what.

But replacing your water heater is not just about averting disaster—it's also about saving money. New generations of water heaters can significantly reduce your monthly energy bill:

  • Tankless water heaters don't store water—they heat as needed. These units can reduce energy costs 30 – 50% compared to a conventional water heater, but initial purchase price is higher. You will save money in the long-run.
  • Hybrid electric heat-pump water heaters pull heat out of the ambient air and pump it into the storage tank. They're especially cost-effective in warmer climates and if you heat with electricity. Lowest operating cost of any electric water heater. Payback can be as little as four years!
  • Condensing gas water heaters pre-warm incoming water as it flows around a coil heated by exhaust gases. They're the most efficient gas-burning tank-style water heater available. More expensive than conventional water heaters, but energy savings mean its payback can be as little as eight years.
  • Electric point-of-use tankless water heaters are installed under a sink. They can pay for themselves in three years simply by cutting back on the wait-time for water coming from your water heater. Especially cost-effective if water heater is far from the faucet.
  • Conventional electric or gas tank-style water heaters have become more efficient over the last few years. Make sure they sport the Energy Star logo, which guarantees a higher efficiency.

Considering replacing your hot water heater? Call us at Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating. We are your Vancouver plumbers.

At Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating, we've been taking care of your hot water tank problems and hot water tank maintenance for 60 years. For advice on the newest and most efficient hot water heaters on the market, give us a call.

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