Water Heaters + Boilers: The Importance of System Efficiency

The only time we tend to think about our water heaters and boilers is when we experience an immediate problem. To avoid headaches and save more money, an important issue to consider long-term is the efficiency of these systems.

Did you know?

  • About 25 % of the energy used in your home goes toward heating your water.

  • By choosing a high efficiency water heater (instead of a standard water heater), you can cut your energy use by 10-50 %.

  • Boilers don’t waste water as they utilize a closed system. This means that they recycle heated water repeatedly and don’t use any more energy than the majority of the other available heating systems.

  • Your home could be wasting as much as 35 % of generated heat. By upgrading to a high-efficiency boiler, you can reduce wasted heat and cut fuel costs. This is a two-fold benefit. Your home gets more heat, and you save money. Some homeowners found that upgrading their boiler cut their bill by as much as 50 %.

Water Heaters

Your water heater needed to work harder than usual through Maryland’s cold winter months. As we move towards spring, it is important to resolve any underlying issues that could wreak havoc on your home’s water heater.

If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to check the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it’s important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. Additionally, sediment and other minerals tend to build up on the bottom of water heaters which can cause your water heater to utilize more energy and lose efficiency over time. A licensed warrior plumber is able to assess your water heater to ensure it is working properly, flush it out regularly to prevent damage, and help you upgrade to ensure efficiency over time. Not sure if an upgrade is right for you? Here are a few signs that may indicate its time:

  1. Age: Most water heaters begin to have problems when they’ve been in regular use for 8 to 10 years.

  2. Rust: Is your hot water less than clear? Or is rust visible on the storage tank or pipe connections?

  3. Noise: Water heaters should be relatively noiseless. If you notice rumbling noises increasing in volume it’s time to start shopping.

  4. Leaks: It pays to pay regular attention to your water heater. Catching a small leak can save you thousands of dollars in property damage.

  5. Temperature: If your hot water is becoming noticeably cooler, it may be in need of a new thermostat. If your heater is less than 7 years old, a new thermostat may be a good direction to go. If it’s older than 8 years old, odds are that more issues will start and you’ll be better off finding a replacement.

Boilers

Boilers are like the motor of your home. They not only protect your family from the elements, they are needed to keep everything within your house at a temperature that it can function properly. But like anything, boilers can fail at the most inopportune moments due to faulty parts, pumps, or electrical components.

Just like your vehicle, boilers should be serviced on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency and properly heating your home. Unlike a vehicle though, it may not be obvious when to replace your boiler. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  1. Age: Through consistent use, your boiler can experience wear and tear. Heating the metal can cause warping which can compromise the structure of the boiler. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you likely need a new boiler. Older boilers will not only have warping, but compromised efficiency as well. They will lack safety features that keep everyone safe in your home. Replacing boilers now can save you money and it is best to get one before autumn and winter as demand ramps up during these seasons.

  2. Inefficiency: Another reason to replace your boiler is when it starts to eat up more power or fuel. A boiler is an efficient system that relies on consistent heat to keep a higher temperature in your home. If your boiler stays lukewarm or takes hours before it can heat your home, you need a new boiler as soon as possible. There are many different reasons for a boiler going tepid and inefficient. Check if you can do maintenance or repair first. If the problem keeps coming back, replace the boiler with a fresh unit.

  3. Leaks: Do you have leaks in your boiler? Are you noticing that the area around your boiler has puddles? If your boiler is leaking, you might want to buy yourself a new one. Leaking boilers tend to have a problem with the general structure of the entire boiler itself. This may come from the boiler itself or the pipes around it. A Warrior plumber can help inspect the general area when the boiler is off and replace it if needed.

  4. Smells: A boiler’s entire process should not give off any type of odor. If you notice unfamiliar smells, you might want to put your boiler in for a repair. If the smell persists, you may need a new boiler. The range of odors that you may get from your boiler can come from rust deposits to dirt and sludge from the radiators. You may smell something metallic, which is rust. Also, make sure to check and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, but if you’re feeling ill out of nowhere, check if there’s a need for repairs.

  5. Frequent Repairs: When your boiler is getting more and more repairs, you might want to consider replacing it in full. A boiler that needs consistent replacements means there is an inherent issue in the system itself. As boilers grow older as well, they get more and more expensive. Parts availability becomes an issue, until your total repairs may cost the same as a new boiler. If your boiler is having continuous issues and is starting to need 3 or 4 major repairs, consider replacing the entire unit.

Stay ahead of potential home disasters and assess your home systems today. We’re here to help! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.