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5 facts about hot water heaters

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The average U.S. household uses 64 gallons of water a day, and spends between $400-$600 a year to heat it, according to Energy.gov.  Water heating is the second largest energy expense (behind heating/air conditioning) in your home, accounting for 14-18% of your utility bill.

To reduce water heating bills, Energy.gov recommends installing low-flow faucets and showerheads, washing clothes in cold water, turning down your water heater’s thermostat, and correctly maintaining equipment.       

“Just like other valuable in-home equipment, your water heater needs proper maintenance to run well,” urges Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company. 

Maintenance aims to avoid the top problems of water heaters, including a lack of hot water, hot water running out too quickly, or a noisy/leaking unit.  Calling a service professional is often the safest solution.  Professionals can also assess if your unit is large enough to accommodate hot water demands, which can change as a family grows.

Here are five consumer facts about water heaters:

1.Three main types are storage tank models, tankless (or on-demand water heaters), and solar.  Costs can vary from $800 to $2,800.  Household size and water demand help determine the best choice for families. 

2.Eppers says traditional storage tank heaters can collect minerals and sediment, and should be drained periodically; higher grade models automatically handle sediment. 

3. Energy.gov says to flush one quart of water from the tank every three months.  Check the temperature and pressure valve every six months.

4. “To extend the life of storage water heaters, replace anode rods.  Replacement frequency depends on the water heater, and whether you have soft or hard water,” says Energy.gov.

5. When buying a water heater, consider the peak-hour hot water demand, and costs to purchase, install, and maintain the equipment.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/

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