4 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Water Heater
Like every appliance in your home, the water heater has a rich history. In London in 1868, a painter discovered he could heat cold water as it flowed through pipes by placing a burner at the bottom. Hot water then flowed to where he demanded it, either a sink or a tub. This invention influenced a Norwegian mechanical engineer to expand on it by adding an automatic storage tank, which can still be seen in the appliances we use today.
Today, we couldn’t imagine operating a home without the use of hot water. It’s a part of our daily process. And if your water heater stops working, you’ll be aware of how important it is in a matter of minutes.
In some ways, they are the invisible appliance. They are something we rarely think about unless a problem occurs. But they are one of the most influential inventions that has shaped our modern civilization. And while you might not give them much thought as you move through your busy day, there are a few things you may find interesting about this modern day convenience.
They consume a lot of energy
Water heaters will consume about one-quarter of your home’s energy use. We use them every time we take a shower, do a load of laundry, run the dishwasher, or even wash our hands. The average American home will use between 60 to 100 gallons of hot water every day.
They can burn quickly
In less than five seconds, you can suffer a severe third-degree burn if you come into contact with the hot water stored in a water heater tank. Water that is kept at 140 degrees or above is extremely dangerous to human skin. Energy.gov recommends keeping your water heater at 120 degrees to keep everyone in your family safe from burns. By decreasing the temperature to this more moderate 120 degrees, you can reduce your risk and save money for heating it too.
They last longer with a little bit of TLC
Water heaters are not “out of sight, out of mind” appliances. Just because they are tucked away in the basement or utility closet doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Water heaters in general last about ten years. If your water isn’t heating as quickly as it once did, if you notice a slight change in color or metallic taste, a professional plumber can assess the situation and determine the right course of action for you.
They have new options
Just because you’ve had a tank water heater in your home for years doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. Like every appliance in your home, modern technology has created significant changes in the industry. Like with the tankless water heater. They are more energy efficient, take up less room, and can be a viable option for many households.
If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, weigh your options before a problem occurs. It can give you the time you need to make an educated choice about the best water heater for you.