Don’t you love being in hot water?  Not the kind with flashing blue lights, but on a cold day a hot shower starts the day on the right path…right?  We take our water heater for granted every day.  It serves many purposes that help glide us through our day without even thinking about it.  Hot water for the shower…check.  Hot water for cleaning dishes…check.  Hot water for washing clothes…check.  But when hot water fails to flow through the pipes our senses dislike that cold punch.  Repairing or replacing water heaters are a part of household maintenance so it is important to know whether yours is gas or electric, the age and its gallon capacity (40-50 gallon is most common for single family homes).

Conventional water heaters act as one of the largest household energy consumer behind your heating and cooling systems.  According to consumer reports your water heater eats up to 30% of your energy budget.  If your water heater is older than 10 years, it is time to think about replacing it.  It is common for aging water heaters to rust and leak so keep a close eye on yours, especially if it is located in your attic.  Leaks can cause expensive and inconvenient damage to ceilings, walls and personal belongings.  Flood safe shut off valves are also a smart solution.  It detects leaks then activates the shut off function to prevent unnecessary water overflow damage.  Drain pans will not hold 50 gallons of water!  Energy efficient technology has advanced so take advantage of welcomed savings when selecting a new water heater for your home.  Annual cost of operation rating stickers are located on the tank to refer to for savings guides and Energy Star labels indicate certified energy efficient products.  Every household consumes different amounts of water, so consider the recovery rate when ready to replace.  This measures the number of gallons a water heater will heat in an hour.  The dimensions can also be a crucial factor as well if limited space is available.

Tankless water heaters deliver exceptional efficiency and since it heats water as used, not stored, there is an eternal supply of hot water.  They also last about 20 years compared to the conventional water heater’s life expectancy of 10 – 15 years.  Repairs are reportedly fewer, parts are easier to replace and the tankless model is less likely to leak.  Also, its design is small, a welcomed space saver is.  Energy Star reports that tankless water heaters can deliver up to 34% energy savings using 86 gallons less daily equaling approximately $100 annual savings.

Conservation.   According to the EPA less than 1% of the earth’s water is usable by people.  The rest is salt water or frozen.  The average household uses 260 gallons daily.  With a little effort this can be reduced.  It is responsible to practice conservation so take in a few tips to save energy, water and money.

  1.  Use only what you need.
  2. Repair plumbing leaks.
  3. Use rain barrels to water lawn and outdoor plants; reuse water to feed indoor plants.
  4. Install a smarter, high efficient water heater, tankless water heater, clothes washer, dishwasher and toilets.
  5. Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save 6 – 10% energy.
  6. Install a water heater blanket.

Qualified contractors.  When scheduling your water heater repair or replacement, turn to a licensed and insured contractor.  Kellam Mechanical values trained technicians and dispatches NATE certified professionals to deliver code compliant service.  757-430-0358.  Tell ’em Kellam!