Replacing Your Water Heater: Factors To Consider
If you have a conventional water heater (one with a tank) in your Sullivan County home, you can expect it to last about 8-10 years – a number that can vary depending on such factors as the design of the tank, the quality of the installation and maintenance, and the chemistry of your water supply.
If your water heater is at or nearing that age and you’re finding leaks around its base, or if you notice that your water isn’t getting hot as quickly or for as long as it used to, it’s probably time to replace it – ideally before you have a flood in your basement.
Water heater purchasing tips
Before shopping for a new water heater, it’s helpful to know the specifications of your current unit as a starting point – that way you can replace it with something comparable (or know what to upgrade).
You can find the most important information – including tank capacity, insulation R-value, model, and serial number – on the nameplate of your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, the nameplate will also list the wattage capacity and voltage of the heating elements.
When looking for a water heater replacement, consider these features:
- Gallon capacity (40-gallon and 50-gallon heaters are common)
- Recovery rate (the number of gallons the unit will heat in an hour)
- Dimensions (physical space may limit your ability to upgrade your unit’s capacity)
- Energy efficiency (a sticker on the side should list the estimated annual cost of operation for the unit)
One option to consider is switching to a tankless water heater, which heats water instantly rather than storing it for later use. These propane gas-powered units are a little more expensive up front, but you’ll get unlimited hot water, save space, and cut your energy bills by 30-40 percent – often enough to offset the additional cost of the unit in just a few years. A tankless water heater will also last about 18 years on average, which means you won’t have to replace it as quickly.
Ready to upgrade your water heater? We can help! Contact Black Bear today for a FREE, no-obligation estimate on water heater installations in Sullivan County, NY!