The cost of replacing a hot water heater is often thought of as a one-time cost that won’t have to be paid again until a new hot water heater is needed. Technically, that might be the case; however, the cost of the water heater replacement extends far beyond the initial expense.
First, let’s analyze the cost of a replacement hot water heater. The price range for a residential hot water heater replacement is anywhere from $300 to $3,500 and higher, according to Cost Helper. The range is so wide because of all the variables that can affect the cost. There are several variables that can affect the cost of the hot water heater. These variables include the size of the water heater, the type of water heater, and any modifications that are required to make the hot water heater suitable for your home.
Generally, you will pay more for a tankless hot water heater or a solar hot water heater than you would for a traditional tank style hot water heater. Larger or more powerful units will cost more than smaller or less powerful units. Here are some general average costs to give you an idea of what to expect:
$400 to $3,000 for a traditional electric hot water heater
$1,800 to $4,500 for a tankless electric hot water heater
$1,800 to $5,000 for a tankless gas hot water heater
$1,000 to $5,000 for a solar hot water heater
Energy efficiency should be taken into consideration when you are choosing a new hot water heater. You will have to pay for the operation of the unit for the duration of the time you use it. Each time you turn on the hot water tap, you are shelling out money for energy.
In order to ensure that your hot water heater is as energy efficient as possible, you have to consider several factors:
Size. You must ensure the hot water heater you choose is the right size for your home. A hot water heater that is too small will have to work harder to keep up with demand. If your hot water heater is not large enough for your home you might end up running out of hot water at peak usage times. A hot water heater that is too large will heat more water than you can use during peak usage times. As a result, you will end up paying for power that is not needed.
The number of people in your home. If your home consists of only one to two people, a 30 to 40 gallon unit might be all you need. If you have a family of five or more, you may need a 50 to 75 gallon hot water heater.
A water heater expansion tank is a small external tank that helps the hot water heater accommodate fluctuations in hot water usage in your home. As you may know, hot water expands as it heats. The expansion tank and the temperature pressure relief valve release some of the pressure that occurs as the water is heated. Together, these processes help ensure that the pressure in the hot water heater doesn’t become too great for the hot water heater to handle.
The water heater expansion tank is an external tank that is installed at a level above the water heater. The water that is pushed into the expansion tank will drain back into the hot water heater when the pressure in the tank is below the intended pressure, which is 150 pounds-per-square-inch for most hot water heaters.
A temperature pressure relief valve is located on the side of the hot water heater. It opens when the pressure in the tank is above the intended pressure of the hot water tank or when the temperature of the water in the tank is above 210 degrees Fahrenheit. This function regulates pressure and overheating.
You can expect to pay around $40 to $70 for a water heater expansion tank that requires retrofitting. This one-time expense is worth paying due to the considerable safety benefits.
Future Cost of Hot Water
Your water heater accounts for approximately 18 percent of your utility bills. This is second only to the cost of cooling and heating your home. With that in mind, you can see why it is important to take steps to reduce the amount of hot water heating costs in your home.
There are several ways that you can save on the hot water cost in your home, including the following:
Low-flow showerheads and faucets. These products reduce the amount of water that flows through them. They are more regulated than units that are high-flow. For example, shower heads made prior to 1992, which might still be present in older homes, use water at a rate of 5.5 gallons per minute. New low-flow showerheads can have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less. That is a savings of at least 3 gallons of hot water each minute you are in the shower.
Energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers. High efficiency washing machines use less water per cycle than other washing machines. When you use hot water to wash a load of white clothes, you will use less water and less energy to heat the water. High efficiency dishwashers also use less water, so they have the potential to help you save money on your energy bills.