Owning a home gives you a place to make your own, and a place to feel safe with your family. It also gives you more tax deductions! But it's a big responsibility and requires regular maintenance. Some items need attention every couple of weeks (depending on the season). Other things so seldom need a checkup we tend to forget about them; like the water heater.
Water heaters are pretty big, but we often ignore them. Like most things in life, as long as everything is working, we pay little attention. Before you know it, a decade has gone by and suddenly there's a leak or your hot showers aren't so hot.
In the world of water heaters, there are lots of options, including newer tankless models and solar heaters. Read on for more details about lifespan, cost and replacement.
- Most traditional electric water heaters last about 8-10 years. Gas heaters average 6-8 years. Proper maintenance and routine checkups may double the life of your water heater. But if your current unit is approaching the end of its average lifespan, budget accordingly and be prepared to buy a replacement.
- If you need to find a replacement, consider a different kind of tank. Ask yourself these questions:
- What's available for your home and its location?
- How much water will your household need and what size do you need?
- How much do you want to spend upfront (and routinely) on your water heater?
- How energy efficient do you want your unit to be?
- The average cost of a traditional 40-50 gallon tank with installation runs about $900. Because they heat and reheat water at a set temperature, regardless of your usage, your monthly utility bills may be higher, especially in the colder months.
- Tankless water heaters use up to 30% less energy and are a great space-saving option. They also last longer than traditional units with an average lifespan double that of electric tanks. At $3000, install costs run higher and usually require retrofitting. But you may save money in the long run.
- Get smart with your water heater. New digital water heater systems enable remote control of your heater via mobile or web-enabled device. If you're looking for another way to save more money, consider this option!