Hot Water Heaters – What Are Your Options?
You only think about hot water heaters when they're not working. Unfortunately they are the most common part of your home's plumbing to fail. Before you run out to the local New Hampshire do-it-yourself warehouse and buy and install the same hot water heater that you had before, consider the options that are available to you today.Your failed water heater may have been installed because it was the cheapest model, easiest to install, or any number of other reasons that don't necessarily make it the best hot water heater for your home and your needs. What's your priority in heating your water? Saving energy? Continuous hot water?
A "hot water heater" is a misnomer – if your water is hot, you don't need to heat it!
You've probably seen the typical hot water tank standing next to the furnace, but actually, hot water heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All are heated by either oil, natural gas, liquid propane, or electricity. Some are heated internally in your boiler, as in a tankless coil, or externally as a conventional vented kind or on-demand tankless water heating systems, the most commonly known brand as Rinnai. I'll give you a good-better-best scenario as I see it as your plumbing and heating specialist.
First of all, do we really need to talk about electric heat? Other than a nostalgic fad from the 1970s, electricity is the most expensive way to heat your home and your water. However, it is a favorite choice of water heater for the "do-it-yourself-er". Hooking it up is easy, and you just plug it in. But you pay for it in the long run.
Good. Freestanding conventional water heaters are self-contained units that heat the water within a 30 or 50 gallon tank. They maintain the water temperature in the tank thermostatically. As the hot water is used, and the tank cools, a burner kicks in to reheat the water. External temperature can also cool the tank, causing you to use fuel even though you're not using hot water. If you must use a conventional water heater, be sure to insulate the outside of it.
Better. Tankless coils are water heating systems installed within your home's boiler. The advantage to a tankless coil is that you never run out of hot water. And, as long as your boiler is maintained every year, they are virtually trouble-free. The useful life of tankless coil, however, is only about ten years. A good filter on your home's plumbing system can extend the life of the tankless coil several years more.
Best. On-Demand tankless water heaters are the most energy-efficient way to supply your house with continuous hot water. They have become incredibly popular over the past 5 years, as homeowners look to find better ways to save on their energy costs. An On-Demand water heater senses when hot water is being called for anywhere in the house and begins to directly heat the water pipe as water passes through. The only disadvantage in an On-Demand system is the time that it takes to get the water from the unit to the tap.
We are water heating specialists. When you call Christenson Plumbing and Heating to install a new water heater for you, we give you the different options available, the installation costs and the savings associated with each type of system. It should be noted to the "do-it-yourself-ers", that there are specific codes required for water heaters. water heater installation is a job for the professionals; yes even electric water heaters. Vacuum relief, pressure relief, shutoffs, tempering valves on an installed water heater must all be checked and calibrated according to New Hampshire state plumbing codes. And, of course, anything connected to Natural Gas or Liquid Propane requires a permit and a plumber who is licensed to install gas!
Call us today for an appraisal of your hot water system. You'll be glad you did. New hot water systems today can deliver more than just hot water- they can deliver savings, satisfaction, and peace of mind.