Almost every home in Kenner, LA, has a water heater that provides warm water for showers, cooking, and cleaning. However, storage tank water heaters usually only last 10 to 15 years before they start to emit unpleasant-smelling water and signs of deterioration. When it’s time to replace the water heater in your home, follow this buying guide for choosing a new water heater in Kenner, LA.

Signs You Need a New Water Heater

How do you know whether you need to replace your water heater or simply repair it? Here are some signs that indicate that you need a replacement:

  • Age over 15 years
  • Visible corrosion
  • Hard water
  • Lack of maintenance
  • High temperatures
  • Increased utility bills

As storage tank water heaters get older, the metal tank undergoes the natural process of corrosion. Corrosion creates rust, which can get in your water and reduce the quality of the water that you use for cooking. Anode rods inside the tank slow down the process but only for so long.

Sediment buildup, especially in hard water conditions, can damage the components inside of the water heater, causing high temperatures until the unit experiences excessive pressure levels that can lead to a water heater explosion.

To prolong the life of your water heater, have a plumber perform regular maintenance 1 – 2 times a year. Water heater maintenance includes changing the anode rod and flushing the water heater.

Storage Tank vs. Tankless

Most people have a storage tank water heater that keeps water warm in a large tank until someone needs it. Once you use up the water, new water enters the tank through the cold water inlet. While a large enough tank won’t lead to cold showers, a small tank can mean some family members having to wait for new water to heat up.

Tankless water heaters provide endless water on demand for up to 20 years, meaning you’ll never have to wait for the water to heat up. Tankless models also provide better efficiency ratings since they don’t have to constantly reheat water after standby heat loss. However, tankless water heaters cost more.

Electric vs. Gas

Gas water heaters are one of the two most common kinds of water heaters. This type of heater requires a fuel source connected to your home. You have the option to choose between natural gas or propane, depending on what is available where you live.

Gas water heaters need either horizontal or vertical ventilation since they emit toxic gasses during operation. Condensing units that utilize the heat to contribute to the water heating process can ventilate through inexpensive PVC pipe while non-condensing units require heavy-duty vent piping that can withstand the heat.

Electric water heaters are less expensive to buy but more expensive to run. These systems use a coil to heat the water similar to that in an electric stove.

Water Heater Features

These are some of the additional features you can find on modern water heaters:

  • High-end components
  • Digital control panel
  • Smart thermostat
  • Quick recovery rate
  • Recirculation technology

Sizing Your Water Heater

To size a tank water heater, get a tank that holds enough water to support all needs during peak usage. Baths and long showers use up the most water, especially when multiple people shower at the same time.

Tankless water heaters measure production by gallons per minute (GPM). Every fixture must split the tankless water heater’s hot water when running at the same time. However, you don’t need to worry about running out of hot water in this case.

Water Heater Installation

Replacing your current water heater with a similar model won’t lead to extreme installation costs. However, upgrading to electric or tankless may require an upgrade to your gas supply or circuit breaker, drastically increasing the cost. Most companies even insist on professional installation of their water heater in order to utilize their warranty.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you through the process. If you need professional water heater installation services, contact Bryans United Air Conditioning in Kenner, LA.

Image provided by iStock

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