Selecting the Right Water Heater

Next to your home heating system, your water heater is probably the largest energy user in your home, accounting for about 13 to 20 percent of residential energy consumption.  For this reason, it is important that your water heater is properly maintained and that you carefully weigh the selection of a new heater when you need one.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you may soon want to consider buying a new one.  Don’t wait until it leaks.  If you do wait and you’re lucky, the leaks will start out small.  If you’re unlucky, a major leak will damage your home.

There are several things to remember when selecting a water heater:

  • Electric water heaters cost about the same as comparable gas heaters, and both are less than oil water heaters.  Electric water heaters are also quiet, clean and need very little maintenance to keep at peak efficiency.  Tri-County has a lease program with attractive monthly payments on a new, quality water heater.
  • You can save yourself and your co-op more money by allowing a load management switch to be installed on your water heater — if you haven’t already done so.  Tri-County offers a $5 monthly credit for a switch to be installed on your water heater.
  • Consider a hybrid water heater. They can save you money.  Hybrid water heaters have a storage tank just like traditional standard tank water heaters. It is the way that the water is heated that makes them unique
    • The hybrid water heater uses a heat pump to pull the heat out of the surrounding air and transfer it into the water tank.  This is much more efficient than traditional electric water heaters. 
    • They act like a dehumidifier, removing moisture from the air, which needs to be removed either through a floor drain or small pump.
    • They need space and shouldn’t be installed in a closet or small utility room.
    • The compressor unit is a little nosier than a traditional electric water heater when it is heating.

When will the electric be shut-off?

Generally speaking, the year is divided into two seasons, summer and winter. The summer season is from about the middle of May until about the middle of September. Winter is the rest of the year. During the summer, expect control on the hottest days of the month with control sometime during the period from 11 AM until 5 PM. During the winter, expect control on the coldest days during the month with control sometime during the period from 7 AM until 12 PM and/or 4 PM until 9 PM. Remember, even though the electric to your water heater is turned off, you still have the stored hot water in your water heater. These are just guidelines as there is the possibility of control happening at other times during the day. Expect to be controlled between six and twelve days during the month and the LCR’s are not controlled on holidays or weekends.

How will I know when the LCR is under control?

There is a red light on the LCR that is lit when the electric has been shut off to the device.

If you have any questions regarding water heaters, please call the Tri-County REC Member Services Department at 570-662-2175.