Buying a New Water Heater? 5 Things You Should Consider

Date: May 20, 2019

Washing hands at the sink

Is your home’s water heater ready for replacing? Or are you building a new home and need to choose a hot water heater? Whichever is happening, you have a lot to think about when it comes to what to buy.

The easy way to do this is to simply go with what you already had, or with what the builder is suggesting. But easy isn’t always the best option in the long run.

If you’re replacing your water heater, there have been a lot of changes since you bought your current one.

When it comes to a new-construction home, the top priority for many builders with water heaters is what is easy, fast and inexpensive to install.

Before you choose, here are five things you should be thinking about as you go shopping for a new water heater for your Tennessee home.

  • What fuel type: Your existing water heater may be electric. And, if you’re building a new home, your builder may want you to get an electric water heater because of its low cost and ease of installation. But now is a good time to switch to propane. Propane-powered water heaters use less energy, cost less to operate and have fewer emissions than electric water heaters.
  • What type of water heater: The best way to get started is to complete the brief questionnaire found here. This will to determine how much water you typically use in your household. Once you complete it, you will be able to view your options, which can include condensing or non-condensing propane tankless water heaters, and conventional propane water heaters with a storage tank.
  • The right size and capacity for your home: It may be tempting to get a larger water heater, but it could be an expensive decision as you may end up using energy and paying for fuel heating water you don’t need. Refer to the questionnaire to get started on understanding your needs in terms of size and capacity.
  • Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is the sum of many factors like the water heater’s efficiency rating, proper sizing, proper installation, and other factors such as a conventional tank-style water heater’s heat loss rate.
  • Total cost of ownership: There’s more to the cost of a new water heater than its purchase price. The total cost of ownership also includes the life expectancy of the water heater, fuel costs and other factors. For example, propane tankless water heaters have a higher purchase price. But you could end up having a lower total cost of ownership because of lower fuel costs and a longer life expectancy than a conventional tank water heater.

Take all of that into account, and contact your local Tennessee propane provider. And don’t forget to protect your investment by getting regular maintenance for your water heater.

How will you know you need a new water heater? Here are 5 signs

All of us probably take our water heater for granted – until we get shocked by seeing a pool of water forming at the bottom of your tank. That usually means your water heater has corroded from the inside out and needs to be replaced.

If you wait until you have water leaking out of your failed water heater, you’ll have fewer options, terrible inconvenience, and it will be more costly to replace.

That’s why you should be aware of these signs that can indicate that trouble is bubbling up with your water heater.

  1. Age of unit. The life expectancy of an average tank water heater ranges from 7 to 13 years. If your water heater is 10 years old or older, don’t wait until it breaks. Start researching your replacement options now.
  2. Higher bills. If your bills keep getting higher even though not much has changed in your household, your water heater is probably overworking to do its job – and suffering from inefficiency as a result.
  3. Rusty water. If the water is clear from your cold water tap but looks rusty when it comes out of the hot water tap, it usually means your old water heater is corroding. If you start to see rust form on the outside of the tank, there’s not much time left.
  4. Water stains. White stains on your utensils and glassware are common signs of hard (mineral-containing) water. Dry, itchy skin and dull, scratchy clothing are others. Your water supply could be hard to begin with, or the problem could be the result of a long-term build-up of lime in your tank; either way, those minerals will reduce efficiency and shorten the lifespan of your water heater.
  5. Unusual noises. Growling or gurgling noises coming from your storage tank are usually a sure sign of sediment build-up – a problem that eventually leads to costly water heater repairs or a premature replacement if it is not addressed with proper maintenance service.

If you think the time has come to replace your water heater, reach out to your local propane provider for advice.