Your next Asheville water heater might be very different from your last one.
Times change, but technology seems to change even faster than the next clock adjustment for daylight savings time. Smart phones came out ten years ago, and now they’re everywhere. Where will the next big advance come?
It might just be in plumbing. Residential water heaters have remained essentially the same, with a few refinements and upgrades, since the early 1900s. Yes, they’re more dependable and energy efficient now, but up until recently, an Asheville water heater always included a big tank of heated water stuck somewhere in your home.
The Big Tank
Not so long ago, when you needed to buy a new water heater for your home, your choices were limited to:
- The size of the tank (from 20 to 80 gallons)
- The fuel source (primarily electricity, natural gas or propane)
- The brand
And to be fair, most Asheville water heaters in use today are still the conventional kind that have a big tank. It works by heating the water and keeping it hot and available for whenever someone in your home turns on a faucet or the shower. The number of people living under your roof determines the optimal size of the tank you need:
- 20–35 gallons for you and your partner
- 35–45 gallons for up to four people
- 45–55 gallons for up to five people
- 55–80 gallons for more than five people
All that instant hot water, though, comes with a price. These conventional units, which typically last from 10 to 15 years, have to keep a tank full of water hot so it’s available at a moment’s notice. That’s not the most efficient way to provide hot water in a home. And, thankfully, it’s not the only way anymore.
Tankless Water Heaters
More recently, a new development became more affordable for homeowners: tankless water heaters. Asheville water heaters no longer need to store heated water in a large tank. Instead, tankless water heaters heat water on demand, whenever you need it. While these water heaters are more expensive than conventional water heaters, they offer many more benefits:
- They use less energy, saving you money over the course of their lives.
- They’re easier to repair, which extends their useful lives. In fact, most are designed to last 15 to 25 years.
- Since they have no tank, you get an unlimited supply of hot water. A conventional water heater stops providing hot water once its tank empties.
- Without storage tanks, they take up less space in your home.
In short, tankless water heaters represent an evolutionary step forward in indoor plumbing. Most use natural gas or electricity as fuel, so if you had a conventional unit, you can use the same fuel type for a new tankless unit. Prices for tankless water heaters have dropped in recent years and may continue to come down. Also, the technology continues to improve.
Hybrid Water Heaters
Hybrid water heaters are the latest development. Using the same technology as heat pumps, hybrid water heaters transfer the heat from the air into stored water, efficiently heating the water. Like conventional water heaters, hybrids have a tank, but these new Asheville water heaters are much more energy efficient, saving you money over time. In fact, it’s estimated that running a hybrid water heater can cost as little as 60 cents a day, depending on your use.
The average conventional electricity-powered Asheville water heater consumes more energy than your refrigerator, clothes washer, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined. A hybrid water heater can mean substantial savings of $400 to $600 a year on average just on the money you spend to heat your water. (The average home uses more than 60 gallons of water a day.)
Blue Planet Plumbing has been named a Duke Energy Progress-approved contractor. That means they have the knowledge and skill to install and service hybrid water heaters. Call 828-423-6289 to find out how you can save $450 in rebates by installing a hybrid water heater.
The Asheville plumbers from Blue Planet Plumbing offer knowledgeable advice so you can make an informed decision. They recommend the most up-to-date, cost-effective and environmentally conscious models available. A water heater replacement done correctly prolongs the unit’s life. Blue Planet Plumbing has water heater packages that recoup your investment in less than five years.