Common Water Heater Problems
Like all other appliances, your water heater will eventually fail. Here are a few issues to watch out for:
Signs It's Time for a Replacement
If your water heater displays any of the above problems, you may need to replace it. Here are a few more signs that it's time for a new unit.
Tankless Water Heaters
How They Work: Unlike a storage water heater, a tankless unit heats water on demand with a sophisticated heating element. Then moment you turn on the shower or start your dishwasher, water enters the tankless unit, gets heated to the proper temperature, and travels to the appropriate fixture or appliance.
Pros: Instead of heating water 24/7, a tankless unit only operates when you need hot water. This can provide energy savings of 30 to 45%. Tankless units also provide a virtually endless supply of hot water and are a lot more compact than tank units.
Cons: Installing a tankless water heater is a significantly larger initial investment than installing a conventional model. Also, some tankless units have difficulty supplying hot water to two or more fixtures at once.
Traditional Tank Water Heaters
How They Work: Traditional storage water heaters have been around for a long time and are still the most popular selling models. After cold water from the water supply enters the tank, a heating element heats the water and keeps it hot until it's ready for use. As hot water exits through the top of the tank, cold water enters through the bottom.
Pros: Traditional tank water heaters only cost a few hundred dollars and most homes are designed to accommodate these models. Storage heaters can also be adapted to use solar power.
Cons: A traditional tank water heater uses energy all the time to keep water hot, which can drive up your energy bill. A tank model can also run out of hot water after heavy use and may take a while to replenish.
Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters
Household appliances are always becoming more sophisticated and efficient. If your old water heater is on its way out, you should use this opportunity to install an Energy Star-rated model. You don't have to install a tankless water heater to enjoy energy savings, though tankless models are generally more efficient than conventional tank models. For help deciding which water heater best serves your needs, let the team at American Air Systems provide some advice.