The vast majority of those in developed countries take hot water for granted, but it’s not always been so easy to turn on the tap and be rewarded with hot water! Did you know that today the average American home uses between 80 and 120 gallons of hot water every day? Hot water is used for dishes, laundry, and, of course, hot showers and baths. Further, according to energy.gov,

  • Between 17 and 18 percent of the energy used in your home can be attributed to your water heater
  • Every 10-degree temperature reduction in your water heater can save you 3-5 percent in water heating costs
  • Installing heat traps on your water tank could potentially save you $15 – $30 per month

Is Your Water Heater in Good Working Condition?

It’s essential that your water heater is kept in good working condition through regular maintenance and timely upgrades. The Cook Home Services Team has dedicated itself to providing Crawfordsville, Indiana and its surrounding areas across Montgomery County with custom heating and air solutions for residential and commercial applications since 1978. We provide all your preventative and corrective maintenance, while also assisting with upgrades and remodels.

How Do I Choose the Best Hot Water Heater for My Home?

The water heater you choose for your home will depend on a number of issues unique to you, your home, your location, and the number of people living in your home. At Cook Home Services we offer storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters, and solar water heaters. A “typical” tank water heater will last from 10-13 years, while a tankless water heater has a bit longer lifespan of 18-20 years. These facts are definitely considerations, along with additional pros and cons for each type of hot water heater.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of water heater found in homes. A storage tank water heater is the same type designed by Edward Ruud in 1889. Water is stored in the tank, then heated via electricity, propane, or gas. Hot water is drawn through the pipes and replaced as needed. If you are working within a budget or supplying a moderate amount of hot water to your home, a storage tank water heater could be the best choice. Insulated storage tank hot water heaters can prevent the loss of heat energy that occurs as the tank works to keep water heated even when it is not being used.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters work around the vent pipes to deliver hot water to various locations throughout your home. Depending on the size of your tankless water heater, you may require modification to existing vent pipes. The best aspect of a tankless water heater is that hot water is always readily available—no cold shower because the washer or dishwasher is running! Tankless hot water heaters are generally more energy-efficient (between 8 and 34 percent) than a storage tank water heater but do come with a higher initial installation cost. So, while you could save money by switching to a tankless water heater, the initial purchase and installation costs might keep you from seeing those savings for several years.

Solar Hot Water Heaters

Solar Hot Water Heaters are becoming more and more popular, particularly for those looking for long-term energy efficiency and cost reduction. A solar collector is carefully positioned on your home to reap the full benefits of the sun, then a pump or natural circulation system delivers water from the collector to the storage tank. There are two types of solar hot water heaters—active and passive. Active systems use circulating pumps to move hot water, while passive systems rely on convection where hotter water rises to the surface and cold water sinks. Solar water heaters require a hefty upfront investment, then will begin paying their value in the form of significantly lower utility bills. Once you reach the end of the solar payback period you will enjoy nearly free hot water for the life of the system. If, however, your home requires larger amounts of hot water you might have to rely on a backup grid-tied hot water heating system.

Hot Water Recirculation Systems

Hot Water Recirculation Systems can solve the problem of a large home or commercial building with long stretches of plumbing pipes. A hot water recirculation system ensures there is always hot water flowing in the pipes. With a traditional storage tank hot water heater, when hot water is not being used, the water cools off as it sits in the tank. When the hot water is turned on, the water heater must work to heat that cool water, potentially making you wait until the water reaches the desired temperature. A hot water re-circulator pushes hot water continuously into the plumbing system by way of a bypass valve that opens and closes to regulate the temperature of the water.

“Traditional” hot water recirculation systems have a dedicated return line for the hot water pipes that go from the furthest plumbing fixture in the building, then back to the water heater. Instant hot water recirculation systems don’t require a dedicated line to loop hot water and can be installed in any type of property.

There are three types of instant hot water recirculation systems:

  1. An over-the-water-heater unit locates the pump above the water heater, with a check valve under the sink The function of the pump is to pressurize the hot side of the system, sending hot water through the valve, pushing the hot water into the cold side of the unit, creating a loop.
  2. An under-the-sink model is installed under the sink and works in a similar manner to the over-the-water-heater unit, pushing hot water through the cold side of the system.
  3. An on-demand water recirculation system generates hot water at preset timed intervals rather than running hot water constantly through the system. The pump for an on-demand water recirculation system must be activated when hot water is desired.

Get Your Hot Water More Efficiently with Cook Home Services

If you need maintenance or repair services for your existing hot water heating system or are interested in purchasing a new system—including a water recirculation system—for your property in Crawfordsville, Indiana or surrounding Montgomery County areas, contact Cook Home Services today!

We provide top-notch plumbing services and can help choose the best hot water heating system for your specific property needs and budget. We can install your new hot water recirculation system, ensuring that it stays in place and works properly. Or, if you have an existing hot water recirculation system, we have the experience and knowledge to repair and maintain it for you as well. Just give us a call at 765-205-2230 when you’re ready for an estimate!

Fun Fact: Who Invented the Hot Water Heater?

Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer living in Philadelphia, designed the first storage tank-type gas water heater in 1889, improving on the design in later years and ultimately gaining 13 patents for his life-changing inventions. Standardized plumbing codes in the 1940s paved the way for widely available indoor plumbing with a storage tank water heater as the backbone.

While the tankless hot water heater was introduced in the 1970s, the majority of Americans still rely on Ruud’s original invention—the storage-tank water heater. Today, however, in addition to storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters, solar water heaters and recirculation systems have joined the ranks.

Cook Home Services is Here to Help!

Regardless of the type of water heater you want to have installed, Cook Home Services is here to help. We have professional experience with all types of hot water heaters, and we have installed every type of water heater in a variety of applications, both residential and commercial.

For inquiries about our water heater installation, repair, or replacement, give us a call at 765-205-2230 or leave a message on our contact page.