Your water heater works harder during winter months. Flush it out and remove sediment buildup, which causes corrosion, shortens life span and reduces heating efficiency. Drain several gallons from the faucet near the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the faucet and direct water into a nearby drain. Check your water heater manufacturer 's website for specific instructions concerning your make and model.
Carefully test the water heater's pressure relief valve (Danger: water is very hot) by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. A plumber should be consulted.
Have questions about your hot water heater? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating, we're here to help.
Starting after April 15, 2015, The U.S. Department of Energy will put into effect new regulations that will require all manufacturers of water heaters to meet a higher energy factor (EF) ratings. Based on the new requirements, there will be significant changes to the design and size of water heaters. This includes gas, oil and electric water heaters. Tankless water heaters already meet the new requirements and are not affected.
· Higher priced units – up to 35% more expensive.
· Larger units – 2” tall and 2” wider, and in some cases units may be even larger.
· More complex installation requirements
· Possible significant home remodeling costs if your water heater is located in a small space like a closet or attic.
These new regulations are being made to improve the efficiency of water heaters, which will result in lower energy costs for homeowners.
According to manufacturer’s suggested service life, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 8-12 years. Homeowners with water heaters 10 years old or older need to seriously consider replacing it now, before the regulations go into effect and costs go up.
If you decide to install a water heater before the new regulations take place, Air Specialties can install a new, earlier model water heater. Have questions? Give us a call, we're here to help.
Welcome to Air Specialties' new series of tips to help you save energy and money. This month we will be talking about choosing the most cost effective water heating solution for your home.
Conventional storage tank water heaters are just one of the options available to today's homeowner. With newer, advanced technology, water heaters are more energy efficient than ever, helping the environment and lowering your utility bill.
A typical family of four can use as much as 2,500 gallons of hot water each month. Choosing the right kind of water heater for your home will make a big difference in providing a reliable, economical hot water to all areas of your home. Air Specialties can help you select the right size and type of water heater to meet your family's needs and your budget.
Conventional Natural Gas and Electric Tank Water Heaters
Conventional storage water heaters are the most popular type of water heating system for the home. The primary benefits of a tank water heater are the low purchase cost, simple installation and large selection of sizes and configurations to choose from.
The main downside to a storage tank water heater is, because the water in the tank is constantly being heated, energy is wasted even when a hot water tap isn't running. However, there are storage water heater models with heavily insulated tanks, which significantly reduce standby heat losses, lowering annual operating costs. These models have tanks that have a thermal resistance (R-Value) of R-12 to R-25.
A gas hot water heater can be expected to last 8-12 years, while an electric model will last a little longer at 10-15 years.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters have been around about 8 years. The benefits of tankless water heaters include:
The disadvantages of tankless water heaters include:
A new alternative way of heating water is a hybrid water heater, such as the Eternal Hybrid water heater and the GE GeoSpring water heater.
The Eternal has a unique way of heating water. Instead of having a 40 gallon tank like a regular water, or going without a tank like a tankless water heater, the eternal has a 2 gallon tank. Hot water is drawn from the small tank and the unit keeps replenishing the small tank.
The primary benefit of a hybrid water heater is higher flow capacity. When sized right, this means multiple people can take showers at the same time and not have to worry about running out of water.
Another advantage of a hybrid water heater versus a tank water heater is cleaner hot water. That is important if you use hot water for cooking or other uses besides showering. Water in a conventional tank water heater is prone to bacteria growth, rust and sediment.
The main disadvantages of a hybrid water heater are higher installation cost compared to storage tank water heaters and slightly less efficient operation compared to a tankless water heater.
Have water heating questions? The hot water experts at Air Specialties can help you select the best hot water solution to fit your family's needs and budget.
A conventional tank-style water heater will typically last for 8-10 years. However, without routine maintenance sediment and rust can accumulate, shortening the life of the water heater while also wasting energy. To keep your water heater in good condition for the long run, Air Specialties recommends following these water heater maintenance steps at least once a year.
Drain out the water heater tank to remove sediment. This is particularly important if you have hard water in your home. Attach a hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Before opening the drain valve ensure the opposite end of the hose is outside or near a floor drain. Be careful, as the water may be very hot. If you're not sure how to flush your water heater, call Air Specialties. An experienced plumber can advise you on the best way to drain your water heater tank.
Tankless water heaters are becoming a popular choice for homeowners looking for a more efficient alternative to traditional water heaters. Because water is only heated when it's needed, it uses much less energy. And with no storage tank, it never runs out of hot water as long as the unit it the proper size for the home's hot water needs.
Like traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters require regular maintenance to ensure that they last as long as possible. Spending some time on maintenance yourself, or calling Air Specialties for routine maintenance, will ensure that you are taking advantage of all the cost saving benefits available from your tankless water heater. In addition, most manufacturers require this maintenance as a condition of the unit's warranty.
1. Inspect and Clean the Screen Filter
Following the manufacturer's recommended schedule and procedures, inspect and clean the filter located on the water inlet side the tankless water heater. We recommend having a qualified plumber do this job. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, it's important to learn the proper procedure before attempting this maintenance. Do not use chemicals to clean your tankless water heater, since they will enter your drinking water. Vinegar is a safe, effective cleaner.
2. Flush the System
To prevent the a harmful buildup of lime and scale, flush your tankless water heater periodically according to the manufacturer's recommendations. As noted above, please be sure to flush it with vinegar and not chemicals that could contaminate your water supply.