If your water heater is more than 10 years old and showing signs of aging, such as needing frequent repairs or leaking, it’s probably time to buy a replacement. Since water heaters are the third largest energy expense in most homes, after heating and cooling, replacing your water heater with a newer, more efficient model will provide significant savings on your utility bills. Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re replacing your water heater.
- First hour rating — Perhaps the most important factor in buying a new water heater is making sure it has the proper capacity for producing hot water. The new unit must be able to provide enough heated water to meet your family’s need during your peak period of use. The amount of hot water a specific model can produce during this peak period, called its first hour rating, should match your family’s needs within a gallon or two. You can estimate the number of gallons of hot water you require during the peak period by using an online calculation tool, such as the one on the U.S. Department of Energy website.
- Energy Star — The U.S government’s Energy Star program awards a certification to certain models of appliance that are especially energy efficient while performing well. Choosing a water heater with this designation can provide considerable saving on your energy costs.
- Energy Factor — Check the new water heater’s energy factor, or EF, by looking at the EnergyGuide label on the appliance. A higher number means the unit is more energy efficient than lower-rated models.
- Fuel cost — Various types of water heaters use different fuels as energy sources. Compare the cost of different fuels, such as gas, electricity and oil, in your area to give you an idea of how much it may cost to operate the appliance.
For more information about replacing your water heater and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).