The Basics of Water Heating in Central PA

Have you ever wondered how long does a water heater last, or is the water heater you currently have the best possible option, or what can be done to make sure the water heater doesn’t spring a leak in a newly finished basement?  We asked Chris Murk to give us the scoop on what every homeowner needs to know about water heaters.

How long does a hot water heater last?

There are many factors that may determine how long a water heater will last.  Proper installation and maintenance play a large part in getting the most life out of the system, in addition to the product itself.  A typical lifespan will be around 8 to 12 years.

How much energy does a hot water heater use?

Again, many factors will take part in total energy usage, for instance the amount of people living at the residence and the type of water-using appliances – think large tub.  Water heaters are typically the 2nd largest energy using appliance in your home, behind hvac systems, and can account for 17% of energy bills.

Does a water heater need maintenance?

Water heaters do need maintenance and regular inspections.  Some hybrid water heaters will perform more efficiently with annual servicing.  Depending on the type of water heater, they will have differing maintenance requirements; you can contact us to know more about how best to maintain a specific type of hot water heater.

How hot should the water heater be? And how do I adjust the temperature?

Water heaters come set from the factory at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Depending on personal preference, it can be adjusted.  Standard water heaters have a temperature dial while high efficiency heaters may have a digital display that can easily be adjusted.  Just be careful not to set it to a temperature that may scald you.  Unless you have a temperature mixing valve installed, we advise not to set your water much higher than 120 degrees.

What are the benefits of a new water heater?

First, replacing the system before a leak occurs will prevent costly property damage. On top of that, there are many new advances in efficiency – your old water heater could be costing you money.  Although a water heater can be a sizeable investment, the energy savings pay-back may be quick.  There are also many accessories that alert you to the risk of leaks, giving you additional peace of mind.  For those interested in home automation, newer models can be synched to automation controls and even be monitored by mobile devices.

How do you know what the best type of hot water heater is for a residence?

There are several factors to consider which water heater is right for you.  First determine your heating source: electric, natural gas, propane, etc. Then determine what size is right for your home and decide what tank type you want.   Our trained technicians will be happy to assist you in picking the perfect water heater for your home based on your wants and needs.

What accessories are available to prevent major damage?

Setting a water heater on a drain pan, along with shut-off valves and an expansion tank are standards with our installations but there are additional accessories that can keep a minor problem from becoming a major one.  Several types of flood prevention accessories are available from an audible alarm which is triggered by water collecting in the drain pan to valves that automatically shuts off your water at the first sign of a leak.  These valves can be implemented into a home automation system which would stop the issue and alert you via your cell phone.

Are there any current rebates on installing a new hot water heater?

PPL and Met-Ed customers can take advantage of mail-in rebates on high-efficient heat pump water heaters.  UGI customers also have the ability to take advantage of a $400 mail-in rebate on tank-less hot water heaters.  We also have a $100 off coupon for the month of February on the installation of a hot water heater.

As always call or send us a message if you want to learn more.


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