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How Does A Higher Efficiency Water Heater Benefit Your Home?

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Residential water heaters last for about a decade. While this lifespan isn't particularly short, it isn't all that long. You probably even have appliances in your kitchen much older than your water heater! Part of the reason water heaters have such a relatively short lifespan is that most appliances have trouble maintaining constant contact with water.

In the case of your water heater, many things can impact how long it lasts, from your maintenance routine to the presence of minerals in your water. Whatever the case for your particular model, it's inevitable that you will eventually need to replace it. You'll probably want to consider a high-efficiency model when that time comes, but are these pricier units worth the cost?

Conventional Water Heater Efficiency Explained

Most people are familiar with conventional or tank-style water heaters. These large units have a relatively sizable footprint consisting primarily of a cylindrical water tank. Conventional water heaters will bring the water in their tank to a particular temperature and then shut off, allowing the water to sit in the tank until you need it.

These units do not contain any "smart" features. Instead, the tank monitors the water temperature and turns on its burner or heating element when necessary. The temperature in the tank will naturally cool over time or as cold water refills the tank after usage. The two largest factors affecting efficiency are the efficiency of the heating element and the tank's ability to retain heat.

The Benefits of Modern High-Efficiency Water Heaters

Modern high-efficiency water heaters can save money by burning fuel more efficiently and retaining heat in the tank for longer. For combustion efficiency, you will want to look at the water heater's uniform energy factor (UEF) rating. This value tells you the percentage of energy that goes directly into heating your water, with the remainder lost to waste or powering the water heater itself.

Tank insulation is another way that modern water heaters offer more efficiency and can potentially have an even larger impact on your utility bills. The unused water in your tank wastes energy since your water heater will continually reheat it to maintain temperature. A better insulated retains heat for longer, giving you more time to use your hot water instead of wasting it.

Choosing a New Water Heater

If It's time to replace your water heater, the benefits of high-efficiency models make them a compelling option. Although you'll spend a little more upfront, you can save more money in the long run. In some cases, you may even be able to replace your existing water heater with a smaller tank by upgrading to a higher-efficiency unit.

Before making a decision, discuss your options with a qualified plumber. An experienced plumber can help you estimate your hot water usage and the savings you'll realize by upgrading to a higher-efficiency model. You can use this information to decide on the best water heater for your home.  

For more information, contact a local company like True Quality Plumbing.