I once had the unfortunate circumstance of showering with cold water. I’m talking COLD. Not room temperature, not slightly chilly—cold. Zero heat. Suffice it to say, that was the fastest shower I have ever taken. I will never suffer through it again if I can help it, and regularly maintaining your home’s water heater is the best way to avoid ever having to yourself.
Hot water is useful in many other ways too, of course—sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines, to name a few. But even if icy water isn’t enough to persuade you, consider this: It is a LOT more expensive to replace a hot water heater than it is to maintain it, and a poorly maintained one will also increase your energy bills. Save yourself some cash and take notes.
Options on the Market
There are two main types of hot water heater: Storage Tank and Tankless.*
- Whether gas or electric, Storage Tank Water Heaters have the lowest price up front for purchase and installation, but have higher monthly energy costs because they have to constantly keep a steady supply of heated water. When considering what size to get, take the number of people in your household and multiply it by at least 10 gallons per person (taking other water usage into account of course, such as shower length and number of washer loads).
- Tankless Water Heaters are more popular nowadays. They offer lower monthly energy bills (because they heat the water on-demand instead of keeping a supply warm). They also offer higher efficiency and compact size, but they are more expensive to purchase and have installed for these same reasons.
Generally, maintenance of either option includes regular flushing of the systems to remove sediment, as well as visual inspections for leaks and other wear and tear. Check out these tips for maintaining your Tankless Water Heater* or your Storage Tank Water Heater* to keep your water heater running its best for the longest possible time—and avoid those cold showers!
*America’s Preferred Home Warranty is not affiliated with and has not collaborated with
Water Heater Hub, This Old House, or Green Living Ideas in any capacity.