Keeping Your Home Safe and Sound When You’re Vacation-Bound

leaving home safe and sound, Long Island, New YorkIf you’re eagerly anticipating a much-needed family vacation, make sure everything’s in order before you head out. By completing the following measures before you pull out of the driveway, you can enjoy peace of mind on your trip, knowing you’re keeping your home safe and sound during your absence. Continue reading “Keeping Your Home Safe and Sound When You’re Vacation-Bound”

Water Heater Maintenance: How Pro Help Will Extend The Life Of Your System

water heater maintenance, Long Island, New YorkFrom the moment you wake up, you rely on hot water for cooking, cleaning and bathing. Because of this, you may take the luxury of having a water heater for granted. It is critical, however, for homeowners to understand the importance of routine water heater maintenance. Continue reading “Water Heater Maintenance: How Pro Help Will Extend The Life Of Your System”

Avoid The Big Chill With A Water Heater Tune-Up

water heater tune-up, Long Island, New YorkYour water heater works hard on a daily basis to provide a continuous supply of hot water. To maintain continuous function, it’s necessary to schedule a regular water heater tune-up.   Continue reading “Avoid The Big Chill With A Water Heater Tune-Up”

Replacing Your Water Heater: Tips For Comparison Shopping

replacing your water heater, Long Island, New YorkMost homeowners take their water-heating systems for granted, enjoying hot showers and not giving a thought to what’s supplying the comfort. But when hot showers turn cold, replacing your water heater may be the only remedy. Continue reading “Replacing Your Water Heater: Tips For Comparison Shopping”

How To Get Peak Performance From Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a great way to save money on heating water for your home. However, like with any other home comfort equipment, there are ways to optimize energy efficiency and get the best possible performance from your tankless heater. Continue reading “How To Get Peak Performance From Tankless Water Heaters”

Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Water Heater

Water heaters are one of the biggest drains on a house’s energy, especially as they begin to age.There are a few things to consider when picking a new water heater.  First, which system should you get? Here are some of your options: Continue reading “Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Water Heater”

Tankless Water Heater Facts for Homeowners

With an increasing interest in energy  efficient appliances for the home, tankless water heaters are often viewed as an attractive, cost-saving option. While conventional water heaters utilize storage tanks  to hold  the heated water for use, energy loss can occur when these units are operating in standby mode.   Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat the water only as it is needed. This saves money by eliminating the potential for energy loss and the associated costs. In fact, ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

So, just how do tankless water heaters work? When the hot water tap is engaged, cold water flows into a heat exchanger located inside the tankless unit. If the unit is electric, an electric element heats the water. If it is a gas-fueled unit, a gas burner  provides the energy to heat  the water. It is because of this method that  tankless water heaters are able to  provide an almost continual supply of hot water.

Tankless  water heaters typically  provide hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons (7.6 to 15.2 liters) per minute. Therefore, it is important to first consider how hot water will be utilized before purchasing a tankless unit for your home or business. For example, point-of-use units, or even smaller tankless water heaters, may not be able to keep up with the demand of multiple appliances running at once. For this reason, you may wish to consider installing separate tankless water heaters, or even a whole-house unit to ensure the highest efficiency.

Tankless water heaters  can cost more than conventional storage water heaters. You may find, however,  that any initial cost increase is generally off-set by the energy savings tankless units can provide.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about preventive maintenance and other HVAC topics, please download our free  Home Comfort Resource guide.

The Facts About Water Heaters

Your water heater works hard for you—taking care of your family’s needs by providing hot water on demand, on a daily basis.   You may not think much about it, but your water heater has probably given you years of low-maintenance service.   If the time has come to think about replacing your water heater, due to age or the need for expensive repairs, there are some important factors to consider.

When choosing a water heater, keep in mind that some kinds may be more appropriate for your application than others.   Here are the 6 basic types:

  • Storage (conventional)
  • Demand (tankless or instantaneous)
  • Heat pump
  • Tankless coil
  • Indirect
  • Solar

Conventional storage water heaters remain the most popular type of water heating system for the home.   A single-family storage water heater carries a 20-80 gallon reservoir of hot water.  It operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap.  To replace that hot water, cold water enters the bottom of the tank to ensure that the tank is always full.   This cold water is then heated upon request to continue the operating cycle.

Demand water heaters (also known as tankless or instantaneous) provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters because they don’t store hot water.   This can save you money on your energy bills.

Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.  Therefore, they can be 2 to 3 times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters.  To move the heat, a heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and dumps it—at a higher temperature—into a tank to heat water.

A  tankless coil water heater uses a heating coil or heat exchanger installed in a main furnace or boiler. Whenever a hot water faucet is turned on, the water flows through the heat exchanger.  These water heaters provide hot water on demand without a tank, like a demand water heater.   However, because they rely on the furnace or boiler to heat the water directly, tankless coil water heaters work most efficiently during cold months when the heating system is used regularly.

Indirect water heaters offer an efficient choice for most homes, even though they require a storage tank.  An indirect water heater uses the main furnace or boiler to heat a fluid that’s circulated through a heat exchanger in the storage tank.  The energy stored by the water tank allows the furnace to turn off and on less often, which saves energy.  Therefore, an indirect water heater is used with a high-efficiency boiler and well-insulated tank can be the least expensive means of providing hot water.

Solar water heaters—also called solar domestic hot water systems—can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—is free.   Solar water heating systems almost always require a backup system for cloudy days and times of increased demand.  Conventional storage water heaters usually provide backup and may already be part of the solar system package.

Which type of water heater is right for you?    Ask us! We can help you choose an energy-efficient option that will give you years of service while helping to cut your energy costs.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about preventive maintenance and other HVAC topics, please download our free  Home Comfort Resource guide.