Replacing Your Water Heater: Factors to Consider
If you have a conventional water heater (one with a tank) in your Maryland home, you can expect it to last about 8-10 years – a number that can vary quite a bit depending on a number of factors that include:
- The design of the tank
- The quality of your installation
- How well the water heater has been maintained
- The quality of your water
- The environment in which the tank is placed
If your water heater is at or nearing that age and you’re finding leaks around its base, or notice that your water isn’t getting hot as quickly or for as long as it used to, it’s probably time to replace it – ideally before you have 40 or 50 gallons of water on your basement floor.
Considerations when replacing your water heater
Before shopping for a new water heater, it’s helpful to know the specifications of your current unit as a starting point – that way you can replace it with something comparable (or know what to upgrade).
You can find the most important information on the nameplate of your water heater, including tank capacity, insulation R-value, model, and serial number. If you have an electric water heater, the nameplate will also list the wattage capacity and voltage of the heating elements.
When looking for a water heater replacement, consider these features:
- Gallon capacity (40-gallon and 50-gallon heaters are common)
- Recovery rate (the number of gallons the unit will heat in an hour)
- Dimensions (physical space may limit your ability to upgrade your unit’s capacity)
- Energy efficiency (a sticker on the side should list the estimated annual cost of operation for the unit)
One option to consider is switching to a tankless water heater, which heats water instantly rather than storing it for later use. These gas-powered units are a little more expensive up front, but you’ll get unlimited hot water, save space, and cut your energy bills by 30-40 percent – enough to more than offset the additional cost of the unit in just a couple of years.
Ready to replace your water heater? We can help! Contact Carroll today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a water heater replacement or water heater upgrade for your Maryland home!