There are certain items in our homes that we use more during some seasons than others. For instance, during the winter we really don’t think much about our air conditioners … out of sight, out of mind, as they say. But there is one item that we are constantly using, no matter what time of the year it may be, and that is our water heater. Even though we count on this appliance to get us through all four seasons, it’s pretty easy to ignore. However, once they stop working, we stop ignoring and start panicking! The good news is that Penguin Air quickly responds to water heater emergencies. If we can fix the one that you have, we will certainly do that. However, if we deem it necessary, you will need a water heater replacement.
Replacing your water heater can be a difficult decision as it’s difficult to pinpoint discrepancies if you aren’t a Phoenix plumbing professional. The average water heater is expected to last somewhere between 8 to 12 years. Here in the Valley of the Sun, our mineral-rich water wreaks havoc with all of our appliances that involve water running through them, so the water heaters don’t usually last longer than the short side of the life span. If your water heater is on the aged side, it may behoove you to start shopping now to determine what heater will best serve your needs, so that when the eminent breakdown occurs, you will be armed with the knowledge of which unit you want.
Here are a few things to consider:
In order to determine what size water heater you need to buy, you must add up the amount of hot water that your family uses during the heaviest hour of an average day. This sum should come close to the First Hour Rating (FHR) listed on the yellow Energy Guide on all new water heaters. This number will tell you the amount of hot water a tank can produce in one hour of heavy usage. Don’t confuse this number with the number of gallons a water heater can hold.
Gas and oil-fired water heaters in Arizona can usually produce more hot water in an hour than the electric ones can. This is because flames heat water quicker than heating elements. If you find that you come up with a very high FHR (over 100 gallons) you may consider purchasing a second heater.
Another number to consider when shopping for water heaters is the Energy Factor (EF). This number indicates the amount of energy that is converted to hot water by that particular model. The greater the number, the higher the efficiency and the less the operational costs will be. The heaters with the higher EF will usually cost more, but will also pay for themselves with the savings on the energy costs. Water heater replacement can be expensive but it’s important that you view this purchase as a long-term investment for your home. Anything that costs you money down the road should be added to your front-end costs altogether.
If you wake up one day to find that your water heater has given up on life, don’t panic. Give us a call and let us come check it out. If you need a new unit, you may already be prepared to let us know which one you want and we will get it installed promptly. If you don’t know what you need or want, one of our water heater specialists will come out and help evaluate your needs and determine what model would best work for you.
If you have any questions concerning water heaters or any other plumbing or air conditioning matters, please give us a call. We can be reached at 480-747-6800.