Your energy bills are probably driving you crazy and have led you to look for ways to cut on these costs. Admittedly, your old water heater is one of the biggest contributors to that high energy bill, and replacing it could see you make considerable savings. Tankless water heaters are a modern type of heater that work towards helping you achieve that goal. The following are reasons to upgrade to an instant water heater.
What is wrong with Your Traditional Heater?
Your traditional tank heater provides you with hot water after having to heat the entire tank’s capacity – between 30 and 50 gallons. While you might use up all of that capacity on occasion, most of the time, however, you will barely utilize half of it on a single use. The issue here is that you have used a lot of energy to heat the entire tank’s capacity yet you do not use all of it. This equates to wasted resources and it is certainly reflected on your energy bill.
As such, this is the main reason you should focus on upgrading your water heater, as the old one is woefully out of date. Therefore, the longer your traditional tank heater continues to rest in a utility closet or basement, the more likely you will be wasting electricity.
Moreover, traditional heaters are made to last for a decade at most. Our experts at Anthony Plumbing, the premier Plumber in Kansas City recommend replacing the heater before it starts displaying performance issues to save on heating costs.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
This is a type of heater that provides hot water only as it is needed. Also known as instant heaters, they do not produce the standby energy losses you are likely to find with traditional heaters, thereby saving you money. For a tankless water heater that makes 40 gallons or less of hot water every day, owners enjoy about 34% more energy efficiency over traditional heaters. For those who utilize a lot of hot water (more than 80 gallons) every day, this efficiency is around 14 percent.
How Does It Work?
The tankless water heater usually heats water directly without requiring the use of a storage tank. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water starts traveling through a pipe and into the unit. Here, the water is heated using either a gas burner or electric element as it passes through. Consequently, a tankless water heater is able to deliver as much instant hot water as you need and not a drop more. This saves you the burden of having to wait for a storage tank to fill up with hot water.
Most tankless heaters produce hot water at a rate of 2 – 5 gallons (7.6 – 15.2 liters) per minute. However, there are levels among tankless heaters as gas-fired heaters are able to produce higher flow rates than electric models. Nevertheless, due to their instant nature, a single heater typically serves a single source. Thus, it may not be able to supply enough hot water for multiple or simultaneous uses in large homes. For instance, running a shower and a dishwasher at the same time can prove to be too much to handle for a single heater. However, this problem can be quickly fixed by installing two or more tankless water heaters and connecting them in parallel. This will allow your household to run multiple hot water uses concurrently.
Reasons to Go Tankless
1. Avoiding Down Time
If you run a business whose core operations depend on providing the customers with hot water as part of the experience, going tankless is a necessity that directly connects to the bottom line.
A tankless system is nice to have if you do not use a lot of hot water. However, if your demand is high and your establishment depends on the availability of hot water, then a tankless system is a must have as you cannot afford to have down time if your hot water tanks run out.
As such, rather than limiting your business’s capabilities to the capacities of your storage tanks, a tankless water heater provides you with an infinite supply of hot water. Establishments such as salons and spas would benefit greatly from this system as it ensures that their customers are fully satisfied and not told that they cannot be afforded some services due to the unavailability of hot water.
Additionally, eateries such as restaurants may have to close their doors due to health reasons if they do not have enough hot water. A tankless system, therefore, ensures that your establishment never suffers from such scenarios. You may also create a system with several units so that even if one needs maintenance, the others will pick up the slack so that your system is not compromised.
2. Saving Space
Traditional heater tanks are voluminous contraptions. They gobble up so much space that they need to be installed in the basement, utility closet, or any other dedicated mechanical room for water heating.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, are not as bulky as traditional tank heaters and are compact enough to be placed anywhere within the home. The advantage here is that you can place the heater as close as possible to the source. This allows for proximity that eliminates the need to wait for hot water while also eliminating wastage. It is next to impossible to install the traditional tank heater in spaces where you can fit a tankless model.
3. Increasing Home Value
In addition to ensuring that your home or establishment consumes water much more efficiently, installing a tankless heating model will become a selling point if you decide to put your house on the market. As such, you can consider the upgrade as a long-term investment. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, energy efficient upgrades such as tankless water heaters are among the top things that buyers are looking for in a home today. And because tankless water heaters can work efficiently for more than 20 years, using that reliability as a leverage point when selling your home does not hurt either.
4. Easy Maintenance
Traditional heaters often require replacement at the first sign of failure. Tankless heaters, however, rarely require replacements, and if they do, it is for individual parts that aim to extend their life.
The most important component in the tankless water heater is the heat exchanger; this component requires periodic flushing. This flush can either be done annually or every 3 – 5 years depending on the level of water hardness of the place you live. Talk to a plumber in Kansas city to advice you on this.
If you have been looking to cut on your energy bills, replacing your old water tank heater and upgrading to a tankless heater is the way to go. Traditional tanks are outdated in every sense of the word; they are bulky, slow, and unreliable in addition to facilitating energy wastage.
Tankless water heaters, however, provide you with instant hot water at the required volume. This ensures that they eliminate energy wastage. This allows you to make as much as 30 percent savings on your heating bills. Moreover, they are small so they can fit in any space.
Installation and Plumbing Services
So now if your ready to buy a new tankless water heater, the only thing left you require is help with the installation. Look no further than Anthonys give us a call and we can help you out in no time! But are you also looking for a reliable plumber in Kansas City? Anthony Plumbing has been the premier plumber in Kansas City for over 50 years. We realize the cost effects of outdated technology on your energy bills and we can help you upgrade to an efficient design that helps you save costs. In addition to plumbing services, Anthony Plumbing also offers heating services to ensure that you do not have fixtures causing energy wastage in your home. Contact Anthony Plumbing for all your plumbing services needs when looking for a plumber in Kansas City. We will be glad to help.
Preparation is Key to Preventing Pipes from Bursting
“Preparation is key,” says Steve Burbridge, at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. “Learn the location of your main water shutoff valve in case a pipe breaks.”
A plumbing safety inspection is a good way to identify, and protect against, potential pipe freezing points. Have a highly-trained plumber come out and give your plumbing a fitness check. They will also check for potential leaks and other looming problems while they are at your home, such as pipe-damaging hard water and carbon monoxide leaks from your water heater vent.
It is important to know the hours your plumber is available, especially if they work evenings. If yours does not, find one that does, in case your pipes burst at night when air temperatures are at their coldest. Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has plumbers in the field until midnight every night, and have experts to assist homeowners over the phone 24 hours a day.
Protecting Garage Pipes from Freezing
Water pipes in rooms that are not heated are especially vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Because most garages are not heated, water pipes running through the garage are vulnerable to freezing and bursting this time of year. Keeping your garage door closed is one way to keep out the cold. Placing a UL-listed electric space heater near pipes will also keep them from freezing.
An Auto-Ray infrared garage heater, installed by Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, is the ideal way to protect the pipes from freezing and bursting in your garage, and in the rooms next to your garage. And, ice and snow brought in on the car the night before will be GONE the next morning and the floor will be dry! The Auto-Ray infrared garage heater heats a 2-3 car garage using inexpensive natural gas for about $10 a month. And no more getting into a cold car!
Prevent Your Kitchen Sink from Freezing
It’s not unusual for plumbing running to a kitchen sink on an exterior wall to be extremely vulnerable. Open the cabinet doors along that wall to allow heat into the space. Place an electric heater in front of the cabinets for an extra measure of cold protection, or leave the faucet dripping water if extremely cold and windy outside.
Place A Space Heater in Any Non-Heated Rooms
Keep unprotected pipes above freezing by simply placing a UL-listed electric heater near them. Remember, the goal is not to make the space toasty warm and comfortable. It’s to keep the water in the pipe above freezing.
Drip a Faucet Furthest from Your Water Main Valve
Turning on a faucet furthest from your water main valve overnight keeps water running through your pipes while you sleep, and running water is less likely to freeze.
Make Sure the Hoses are Removed from Your Outdoor Faucets
Leaving the hose on your outdoor faucet during the winter can cause water from the hose to back up into the faucet plumbing. This water will expand inside and split the piping during freezing weather. Remove and drain hoses used outside, and store them away until spring.
A newer innovation is the one quarter turn valve frost-free faucet, which allow for hoses to be left on all year round. Not sure if you have a one quarter turn valve frost-free faucet installed? If you’re not sure if your faucet is frost free, call a plumbing expert to make that determination.
Turn Off the Water Main Valve
In the most frigid temps, turn off the main water valve while the house is unoccupied or while you sleep. If a pipe freezes and breaks, the spillage is limited only to the water in the pipe. Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can install an electric main water shut off valve that you can activate with your smart phone.
Prevent Pipes from Bursting while Away Long Periods of Time
When you are away from home for extended periods of time, cold temperatures inside your home during power outages are a real concern. The best way to be notified of a power outage is to equip your home with smart home automation technology that will 1) alert you when your power is out or the temperature drops inside your home, 2) notify you if a pipe does break, and 3) allow you to shut off the main valve remotely from any location.
But even without smart home automation technology you can still take steps to prevent frozen and burst pipes while you are away for the winter.
How to Winterize Your Plumbing While You Are Away
If you plan to be away from your home during the winter months, you need to take steps to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting while you are away. It is best to call a highly-trained plumber to assist you in these steps, especially if it is your first time taking them. Considering the massive damage a broken pipe can cause, it’s worth it to take a little extra precaution.
- Invest in smart home automation technology systems like Anthony MyHome
- Turn off the main water service valve.
- Turn off the gas valve on the water heater, or if you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker that supplies power to it.
- Open all indoor faucets, both hot and cold sides. This includes sinks, lavatories, showers, and bathtubs. Unhook the washing machine hoses and open these two valves. NOTE: If you have water filters or a water softener, these will also need to be drained.
- Flush all toilets to drain most of the water out of the tanks. Pour some propylene glycol (antifreeze — not ethylene glycol which is toxic and used in cars) in the tanks to mix with the remaining water and pour one pint of non-diluted antifreeze into each toilet bowl.
- Pour propylene glycol into each drain trap in the home. These include sinks, lavatories, tubs, showers, and the washing machine discharge pipe.
- If you have a sump pump, have a battery back-up sump pump which will activate, even if there is no power.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze, but Don’t Burst
If your pipes won’t deliver water and you suspect they might be frozen, take these steps immediately:
- Try all the faucets – is there only one or two that are frozen?
- Shut off your main water, to prevent further damage.
- Thaw the frozen pipes – use gentle heat from a hair dryer.
- Carefully restore water; once the pipe is thawed turn your main water valve back on and SLOWLY turn your faucet back on.
What to Do if Your Pipes Burst
If the worst happens and your pipes burst, turn off your water main and call a highly-trained plumber immediately. Plumbers at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are in the field until midnight every night, and we have experts answering the phones 24/7 that can help you. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y, KS (913) or MO (816), 913-268-4669 or 816-268-4669.