MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK ABOUT THEIR WATER HEATER.
They take it for granted that hot water will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for hot showers, cleaning dinner dishes and doing load after load of laundry. The lonely water heater, tucked away in the basement or a utility closet, is out of sight and out of mind.
There are times, however, when your attention turns to that most essential of appliances: when an existing water heater breaks (“Brrr. That water is cold!”) and when building or renovating a home.
Replacing a water heater is a decision with consequences that will persist for a decade or maybe longer. Your water-heating choice will have implications for energy efficiency, cost of use, the environment, safety and reliability.
If you are a member of an electric cooperative, you might already know about many of the advantages and benefits of electric storage water heaters. First, electric water heaters are safe. There is no threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, combustion or explosion. Due to the new energy efficiency standards, all electric storage type water heaters now come with energy factors of 95% or more. Electric water heaters are environmentally friendly and capable of using electricity generated from renewable energy sources like solar,wind and hydro. Compared to other fuels, the cost of electricity is stable.
Electric water heaters are easy to install, requiring no expensive gas lines, exhaust flue or on-site fuel tanks. Electric models cost less to buy than comparable gas models. If an electric water heater needs repair, it,s usually simple. Electric storage water heater parts are standardized and available at most hardware stores or home centers. For the average do-it-yourselfer, repairing an electric water heater is an easy fix.
Traditional metal electric water heaters have a life span of about 10-15 years, but the Rheem® Marathon non-metallic electric water heaters are even more durable, well insulated and warranted to last as long as you own your home. Plus, there is no anode rod in these tanks and that means no chance of smelly hot water. Another advantage of the Marathon is that it’s available in large sizes including 85 and 105 gallons.
In addition, electric water heaters have emerged as a building block of the future electric grid. These formerly mundane units are evolving into smart appliances and energystorage units that are helping the electric grid become more stable and more efficient. By heating water when demand for electricity is low and storing the thermal energy for later use like a battery, electric water heaters can save you money. Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s H2O Select program is great example of this and saves its members millions of dollars each year in water heater rebates, incentives and lower rates.
While not everyone acknowledges the superiority of electric water heaters, the facts remain; electric storage water heaters are reliable, cost less to buy and maintain, and are energy efficient and able to store energy for use during peak demand times, which helps reduce electric rates for everyone.