Just like you wouldn’t want to experience a cold Iowa winter day without heat, you certainly wouldn’t want to bear the icy chill of a shower without hot water. Hot water is a given in modern homes, so we often don’t think twice about our water heaters. But when they do break down—you realize just how much you’ve been taking that luxury for granted. 

Let’s learn a bit more about water heaters so you’re prepared to handle a malfunctioning or broken-down water heater. 

Types of Water Heaters

There are a variety of water heating options available depending on your home’s requirements. Here is a list of the more popular types of water heaters. 

Conventional Storage Tank

These have been widely used in homes across the U.S. for decades. The unit comes with an insulated tank that can hold anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of water. Conventional storage tanks can be powered by electricity, gas, propane, and fuel oil, so basically any home can make use of one. 

Each unit comes with a thermostat that records the water temperature inside the storage tank. Whenever the temperature drops below a pre-set level, the heater works to heat the water back up to the right temperature. 

Tankless Water Heater

These use heating coils to deliver hot water on-demand, which cuts down on the need for an additional storage tank. Since tankless water heaters only provide hot water when needed, they save you a lot of money on your energy bills. 

These units are available in both gas and electric-powered models, but natural-gas fueled heaters are more common because they allow for a greater flow of heated water. 

Hybrid Water Heater (Heat Pump)

This option combines the energy efficiency of tankless water heaters with the larger storage capacity of storage tanks. They come with a storage tank, and an additional heat pump installed on top of the water heater. 

The pump draws in cooler air from the external environment and then feeds it into the storage tank through a compressor using an electronic system. The outcome is similar to an air conditioner in reverse, with the water being heated at an even greater efficiency than conventional storage tanks. Because of the water pump though, hybrid water heaters are taller than other appliances so require more room for installation. 

Signs Your Water Heater Is Going Bad

You’ll know that your home’s water heater needs to be replaced if it shows the following symptoms:

  • Rusting, either on the tank or in the water
  • Loud noises
  • Leaks
  • Failure to heat water 

Cost of a Water Heater

It can be challenging to estimate the exact cost of a water heater depending on the model and installation requirements. Some of the most common considerations related to water heater installation cost are:

  • Tank size
  • Expansion tank addition
  • Accessibility to the technician
  • Cost of materials
  • If it’s a new construction

Water Heater Maintenance 

Just like your HVAC unit, prevention is always better—and cheaper—than repairing or replacing your water heater. The units contain a lot of fragile parts, so if you’re unsure about your ability to deal with routine maintenance or concerns, hire a licensed plumber or HVAC technician to handle your water heater maintenance. With regular maintenance, your water heater can run efficiently for about 8-10 years. 

Keep Warm with Wyckoff

You’ll never have to worry about your water running cold when you contact Wyckoff for your water heater maintenance and repairs. Give us a call today with any questions or concerns about your water heater!