Like all major appliances, water heaters have a general best before date. However, what this date is varies greatly depending on a few key factors: what type of system it is, the manufacturer, usage and maintenance. It is an excellent time to review whether it is time for a new heater due to the opportunity presented by the up to $1,000 savings offered by Energy Efficiency Alberta grants.
So if water heater replacement dates vary, how will you know if it is time to replace yours? Here are some of the factors Furnace Solutions recommends considering:
Effectiveness of your Heater
If you take an unexpected cold shower, it is a fairly stark wake-up call that your hot water system may not be working properly. The reason why this may be happening could be a few factors: broken heating element, system not powering up, thermostat malfunction, incoming cold water leaking into the outlet pipe or many other reasons. These do not, necessarily, require a full replacement and may be able to be repaired.
We will usually recommend a hot water tank replacement if the repair is more expensive than a new unit, the system is rusting, there is significant leaking from the unit or your household’s hot water needs have significantly changed since you purchased your hot water tank.
Age of your Heater
Not all hot water tanks are made equal, but generally all will remain effective for a period between 8 and 12 years. If your heater is reaching this age (or past it) it is likely that any issues it experiences are related to its age. Furthermore, repairs made during this stage of life are likely to result in short-term fixes that decreased in duration each time.
Tankless water heaters may last longer, in particular if they have regular or annual maintenance performed on them.
Repair or Replace?
But wait, just because your water heater isn’t working to full capacity or is older than it used to be, doesn’t mean you need to replace it. Some heaters only need to be repaired. What is important to consider is whether the repair can fully correct the problem or be a temporary solution. If it is the gas valve for example, the cost of only repairing the unit may not be worth replacing it, particularly with the Energy Efficiency Alberta opportunity.
If you think your system may only need to be repaired, you can get a diagnostic from Furnace Solutions here. This will allow you to accurately compare the costs of replacing and repairing.
If you’re interested in learning more about a new hot water heater installation and how to apply for the Energy Efficiency grant, contact us today.