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Water Heaters—A Comprehensive Guide

You would notice if your internet or cable was slow or continually cutting out, right? And, you would probably address that issue ASAP. Now, would you do the same for your water heater? If you experienced intermittent hot water during your daily shower—how long would it take you to really do something about it?

Well, your answer should be sooner than ASAP. It should be immediately.

According to the EIA, your water heater accounts for around 18% of the average Texan’s residential energy consumption. We here at Hildebrant’s Plumbing Repair bring this up to remind you that your water heater costs you when it isn’t running efficiently, is outdated, or is not the right fit for your home.

Here are the two main subsets of residential water heaters—traditional, storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters.

The Classic: Storage Tank Water Heaters

What Does It Do?

The traditional water heater, the storage tank water heater, is the most common water heating appliance in the United States. This system continuously heats and stores water, in a tank, for later use. With capacities between 20 gallons and 80 gallons, these water heaters are diverse and can work in varying home sizes.

As sitting water will inherently cool down, this system is build to re-heat the tank water in cycles, so you always have hot water when you need it. Unfortunately, that means your water will sometimes be heated twice without you using it, making this system less eco-friendly than its counterpart.

Who Is It Best For?

Although standby heat loss, or the process of re-heating water that remains unused, is a big inefficiency, storage tank units may still be the right choice for your home, especially if you do not plan on staying at that property for a long period of time.

Why? The installation costs. While storage tank units cost more to operate each month, they are less expensive to install than a tankless water heating system. If you don’t see yourself living in your current home long term, there may not be enough time for a tankless water heater to “pay for itself” with the potential monthly savings.

Additionally, storage tank water heaters are ideal for large families, or individuals that use a lot of hot water at once, as this water heating system can potentially provide over 50 gallons of heated water.

The Efficient Alternative: Tankless Water Heaters

What Does It Do?

Tankless water heating systems were created to solve the problem of standby heat loss. And, how could one make a water heater more efficient? By only heating the water that is being called upon, and used. With new technology, this became possible, and today, the elimination of standby heat loss makes tankless water heaters the more sustainable and energy-efficient choice.

How does it work? Well, as soon as you turn on your plumbing fixture, water enters the tankless appliance, passing over heating coils which raise the temperature of your water! This system can heat your water in a manner of seconds.

Who is it Best For?

Tankless heating systems are best for those that have low water use habits. If you only use a small amount of hot water per day, installing a traditional system would be wasteful and costly, as you would pay for water (that you don’t use) to be consistently re-heated, over and over again.

If you and your family use less than 30 gallons of hot water per day, the savings you would experience from installing a tankless water heating system would be astronomical, and make the installation costs more than worth it.

Tankless units can function as point-of-use systems. If you are continually running out of hot water due to overuse, a point-of-use installation is a great solution. A point-of-use system works on heating water for one appliance. So, if you are worried about losing hot water in your shower, this water heater can be installed to directly heat the water flowing through that specific fixture.

Additionally, if you already have a traditional water heater installed in your home, you can pair a point-of-use system with your traditional tank storage unit to help lighten the load.

Tankless water heaters are also available for whole-home installation. This unit operates in the same manner as your point-of-use system, but it will supply hot water to your entire home. A whole-house system will lead to a significant increase in efficiency; and, therefore a decrease in your monthly bills. Tankless water heaters are an investment that will prove beneficial if you are planning on staying at your current property for a while.

If you’re interested in installing a new water heater in your home, give Hildebrant’s Plumbing Repair a call at (817) 668-3665 or fill out an online contact form.

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