If you recently started noticing a slight discolouration in your hot water, I’m afraid I have bad news for you! This is a sign that your hot water heater is at the end of its useful life. Instead of waiting until it starts leaking or simply shuts down altogether, you would do well to start preparing for its replacement. As a rule, electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, whereas natural gas water heaters generally last 12 to 15 years.
Replacing a water heater is very often an unexpected, and not insignificant, expense. Should you buy or rent? There are a number of factors that you’ll have to weigh.
Depending on the size of the tank, an electric water heater could cost between $800 and $1000 to buy and install, and a natural gas water heater between $1200 and $1500. Do you have that kind of money? Do you plan to stay in your house for several more years? If your answer is “yes” on both counts, then buying a water heater is probably the cheaper solution in the long-term. Of course, when you buy, you also have to consider the repair and maintenance costs down the road once the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
If you are planning on moving in a few years, and would rather avoid this kind of investment, or if you would rather leave the responsibility for repair and maintenance to someone else, then you should consider renting.
Water heater rental contracts are generally for a set amount of time, and guarantee that you will pay the same amount every month for the term of the contract. When you sell your house, your rental contract can be transferred to the new owner.
Houses with gas furnaces generally also have gas water heaters. The decision to go with natural gas is usually based on two excellent arguments. First, natural gas costs less than electricity (even in Quebec), and second, water heats up faster with natural gas than with electricity. This latter aspect is known as the recovery rate.
Because of the higher recovery rate of a natural gas water heater, a smaller tank will be able to meet your needs during peak hours. A larger tank entails higher operating costs, and greater loss when the tank runs empty. When you consider replacing your water heater, keep in mind the relative benefits associated with the different energy sources. These relative benefits could make a real difference in your energy bill.
Pour plus d’information sur la sécurité concernant vos appareils à gaz naturel et sur la mise à jour de la situation des inondations émise par la Ville de Gatineau cliquez ici.
For more information on natural gas equipment safety and updates in French issued by the City of Gatineau, click here.