Your Water Heater Is Wearing Out: What Are Your Choices for a Replacement?

Posted On: September 09, 2013

A quality storage-tank water heater will last a long time. When you’re considering replacing the water heater in your Maryville, Collinsville or Alton area home, you have a few options to consider. There are two main types of storage-tank water heaters: 

  • Gas-powered. A gas-fueled water heater will typically be less expensive to operate than an electric-powered one, but requires a bit more money up front. These must be vented outdoors to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide. Your trusted HVAC or plumbing contractor will take care of this when they come out and install your unit. One of the main benefits of these units is that you’ll have hot water even in a power outage.
  • Electric water heaters. An electric-powered unit is easy to maintain and heats water very quickly. They typically cost a little less than gas water heaters, but aren’t as energy efficient, partly due to the difference in costs between electricity and natural gas. They don’t use combustible gasses to heat the water, though, and don’t require special venting. In a power outage, of course, you’ll be out of luck (and hot water).

Whether you choose an electric water heater or a gas-powered one, you can choose between water storage methods.

  • Conventional units. Conventional storage-tank water heaters keep water warm in the tank continuously, whether you’re using the water or not. Even with the resulting standby energy losses, these units are fairly economical. If you have the right-sized unit for your home and water needs, you shouldn’t experience problems.
  • Tankless water heaters.These units work on demand. When the hot water faucet is turned on, either a gas burner or electric element will start heating water in the unit, delivering hot water on demand. If you have simultaneous hot water demands, however, a tankless unit may not be able to provide sufficient hot water. In that case, point-of-use tankless heaters are available to supplement the whole-house unit.

As with many other appliances, you can also select features that are important to you. Some water heaters offer a self-cleaning feature. You can select a unit that has a faster recovery speed, which can be important with a conventional water heater.

For more expert information about water heaters or other home comfort related questions, please contact us at Ernst Heating and Cooling. We have been proudly serving the Hamel, Staunton, Troy and Bethalto areas for more than 60 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

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