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Serving the Lubbock Community

Water Heating 101

Water Heater Installation

Water heating takes up nearly 20% of all residential energy expenditures, according to the EIA. That’s a surprising number to most homeowners. It’s easy to take your water heater for granted as long as it's working well, but it shouldn’t stay too far from your mind. There are a lot of ways you can save money on your water heating and cut your energy bills by a significant percentage. In this blog, we’ll explain some common water heater FAQs and offer some tips we’ve learned over the years.

What Type of Water Heater is Best for Me?

Water heaters typically only last about a decade before they require replacement. Due to this fact, it’s important to have an idea of the type of water heater you may want to consider when you need a replacement.

The two main types of water heaters are traditional tank and modern tankless systems. These each have their pros and cons, so it’ll depend on your specific needs to determine which is best for you.

Storage Tank Systems

These water heaters have been the gold standard for decades. They cost less to install, but are less efficient and typically require replacement sooner. The tank will store around 50 gallons of hot water for later use. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most efficient system because the water needs to be constantly reheated as it slowly cools off. It will always be ready, but it’s a bit wasteful when it comes to energy. Additionally, gallons of water constantly being in the system can strain the connections and create rust issues. These things add up over time and end up cutting the lifespan of these units by a considerable amount when compared to tankless.

Tankless Systems

Tankless systems cost more to install but make up for that added cost with additional efficiency. These units only heat water when you need hot water. Coils will quickly heat the stream of water only when you need it. While you’ll be limited in flow, you’ll never run out of hot water. This bypasses the problem of standby heat loss and capacity issues that occasionally come up with storage tanks.

It’s up to you to decide which will be better for your home. If you’re planning on living in your home for decades to come, the efficiency of a tankless system is hard to pass up. If you want something more standard, a tank unit might be the best choice.

When to Repair or Replace My Water Heater?

With any HVAC or plumbing system, there’s often a tough decision to make when the unit is not functioning well. Here are some things to consider when weighing the options of water heater repair or replacement.


It may seem simple, but the age of the unit is extremely important to keep in mind. As we mentioned above, your water heater will only last about a decade before it will stop functioning and require replacement. If you’re already getting up there in age, it’s likely not worth it to replace the unit.

A simple rule of thumb is to multiply the cost of the repair by the unit’s age in years. If that result is higher than the replacement cost, then the repair is likely not worth it.

The Type of Damage

Some repairs are simple fixes, while others are a sign of a deeper problem that won’t go away. If you’re having issues with leaks, these can typically be repaired. If you are dealing with discolored water or rust problems, these will only get worse as time goes on.

Every situation is a little bit different, so we’ll be sure to advise you on what we think is the best course of action.

For your water heater installations, repairs, and maintenance, contact Sinclair Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Inc at (806) 454-9332. We are here to help!