Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Category: Water Heaters

new water heater

Are you toying with the idea of getting a new water heater for your home? If you are, then you’ve found the right blog here today. Your water heater works hard in your household. It’s one of the only appliances you’re using in a high capacity on a daily basis. You’re doing quite a lot with your water heater. You need it to shower, bathe, wash your hands, wash the dishes, and even wash your clothes.

If you’re trying to make sure that your home stays in good condition, then we suggest staying on top of your water heater services. One way of doing this is by knowing exactly when to upgrade. We understand that this can be somewhat of a tricky process in your home. If you want a great water heater in Loveland, CO, then we’re prepared to help you with our expertise. 

The Signs That You Need a New Water Heater

Let’s determine once and for all if you need a new water heater. Here are a few of the signs:

  • The Age of Your Water Heater: Your water heater can last you about 10-15 years. Once you start to push the unit past this point, you’re going to notice troubles with your operation. This is why it’s a great idea to get a new unit when necessary.
  • Low Water Output: Have you noticed a reduction in your home’s water heater output? This is a sign that your water heater can’t keep up with demand. It’s also a sign that it should be upgraded.
  • Rusty Water: Rust or any other type of debris in your water happens because there’s debris in your water heater system. We’ll help you with this.
  • Rising Bills Without Clear Cause: are you noticing that your water bill continues to rise without clear cause? This rising water heater bill is a sign of inefficiency. This can be handled with the help of our professionals.

Tank or Tankless?

Once you get to the point where you realize that you need a new water heater, the next step is to determine whether you’d like to go tank or tankless. Both systems are great. The determining factor is really what your home needs individually. We’ll go through the benefits of both systems to help you decide what’s best for you.

Tank water heaters are great if you have lots of people in your household or you just use lots of water. Tank water heaters are great for this because they keep a reservoir of hot water on standby at all times. These systems are also reliable and effective.

Tankless water heaters are great if you’re looking for an efficient, eco-friendly, and effective way to keep your home in shape. Tankless water heaters are great because you’ll never run out of hot water. Tankless water heaters are an “on-demand” system. This means that it creates hot water right when you need it. You’ll never run out of hot water or worry about standby heat loss.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’re the company you can trust because we’re big enough to serve but small enough to care.


water heater

In truth, we can’t answer this question directly in this post. Why not?

It’s not because we don’t know our stuff, obviously. When you’re looking for a plumber in Loveland, CO, you know we’re the company to trust.

No, it’s because there is no one type of water heater that is right for every home or every homeowner.

What we can do in this post is to help you better understand both the pros and the cons of tank and tankless water heaters. That way, you can make an educated decision for yourself.  And, of course, you can always reach out to a member of our team with any questions that you may have.

So keep the following in mind, and let us know if you’re ready to invest in a new water heater for your home!


1. Initial Cost

The first thing that most homeowners are going to look at when investing in any new system for their homes is the price tag associated with those systems. And that price tag is what can send some budget-minded homeowners running to the tank water heater section.

There’s no getting around it. A tankless water heater is going to cost more to purchase.

That’s important phrasing, though. Because, yes, the upfront cost of a tankless water heater is more than a tank water heater. Much more, depending upon which models of each system you’re looking at. It’s also important that you keep in mind how long you plan to be in your home, because this brings us right into our next point.

2. System Lifespan

If you’re going to be in your home for the foreseeable future, and you’re the type of homeowner that likes to hang on to the items you purchase for as long as possible, then a tankless water heater definitely might make the most sense for you.

Your average tank water heater is likely going to last you about 12 years. Some go longer, of course, but that’s the average.

A tankless water heater, on the other hand, will typically last to—and beyond—20 years of age. That’s impressive, and it only grows more impressive when you consider this lifespan as it relates to our next point.

3. Energy Efficiency

This is the big one. Because tankless water heaters do not use hot water tanks to store water—they heat water in an on-demand fashion, instead—they aren’t subject to standby energy loss.

What’s that?

When you store hot water in a tank, some of that heat will inevitably transfer through the tank and into the cooler air surrounding it. Now, modern hot water tanks are more efficient than ever before. And they can be further insulated with insulating jacket materials. But, with the extensive lifespan of the tankless water heater, serious energy savings over additional years or projected lifespan can result in long-term returns, even if the initial investment is higher.

Have questions? We’re here to help!

Schedule your water heater services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care.


 Water Hot Enough

Certain parts of your plumbing system see direct interaction every day. Your toilet, your shower, the kitchen sink, etc. The real backbone components of your plumbing system are mostly out of sight, but that doesn’t mean that they should ever be out of mind. Here we’re talking about your water supply pipes, drains, and, yes, your water heater. Just because homeowners don’t regularly interact directly with their water heaters in Loveland, CO, doesn’t mean they should take them for granted.

Too often homeowners do just keep their water heaters out of mind, at least until something really goes wrong with the appliance. Don’t wait for your water heater to break down or spring a leak before giving it some needed TLC! Remember, this water heater is working for you each and every day—those hot showers depend on it, even if you’re not really thinking about it every time you use hot water.

Has the Problem Been Consistent?

Most people can put up with something like cool showers for a while. Some may stubbornly hold out longer than others. However, everyone has their breaking point. So, let’s ask this—are you reading this post because your current water heater has always failed to deliver water that is heated to your liking?

If so, the unfortunate truth is that your water heater may just be undersized for the task at hand. If you’re running the dishwasher while showering, or you’re last in line for the shower when everyone is getting ready in the morning, then the water heater may simply not be replenishing the supply quickly enough. An appropriately-sized water heater, or more strategic use/timing, is the only fix here.

Has Your Water Heater Been Maintained?

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard this cliched advice at some point. And you know what?

It’s terrible.

Your water heater is working hard every day, and that means it is incurring a lot of wear and tear. The degradation in operational quality may be gradual, but it is happening. Routine maintenance will help us to keep your system free of sediment, ensure that gas delivery is safe and proper, that your heating elements are functioning correctly, and more. That means better performance with greater peace of mind.

It May Be Time for a Change

Like any other system or appliance in your home, your water heater may simply be ready for retirement. We understand that you want to wring every last drop out of the systems that you pay for, but keep this in mind. The fact that your water heater can be repaired does not mean that your water heater is worth repairing.

We have great plumbers on our staff. They can do great things, and they excel at water heater repairs. If your system is old and unable to keep up with the performance that you need due to overall degradation over the years, a full replacement is really the way to go.

Schedule your water heater services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are probably what you’re most familiar with when we mention these systems. They’re large, noticeable, and oftentimes can be a bit noisy. This is the traditional water heater model found in most homes, so many people realize that they need maintenance from time to time.

Scaling is something that occurs in these systems and allows for a mineral buildup that clangs around noisily. This can actually hurt the system—casing problems with pressure, temperature, and potentially even corrosion. Tank water heaters need flushing on occasion to offset all this.

With this knowledge, you may be tempted to switch to a tankless model, and this is certainly worth your consideration. Tankless water heaters are highly efficient, work “on-demand” rather than storing hot water and risking standby energy loss, plus they save space! But, guess what? They need maintenance too.

Scaling Impacts Tankless Water Heaters

Scaling affects tankless water heaters too, not just tank systems. In fact, scaling can lead to a premature breakdown of this system if you don’t schedule regular maintenance so it can get checked out by a pro. Scaling happens when there’s hard water consistently going through your water heater.

Hard water is water that has a high level of minerals in it—namely calcium, magnesium, and sometimes even iron. These mineral deposits are absolutely harmless to ingest. However, if they’re left behind in appliances or pipes, we typically call that “scaling.”

Scaling impacts the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater. As you might realize, the heat exchanger is what heats up the water in the first place. You need it to be clean, so that the water can effectively and efficiently be heated. Scaling can make your burners work harder, or can overwork a tankless water heater to the point that it breaks down.

How Often Should You Schedule Maintenance?

For some tankless water heaters, annual maintenance is essential to keeping the system running smoothly throughout its lifespan. For others, maintenance can afford to wait a year or two longer. This timeframe depends on how hard the water is in your area, and if you’re currently doing anything to treat it.

The installation of a whole-house water softener, for instance, may be the answer to your hard water troubles. Your tankless water heater should still be checked regularly by a pro, but you may not need to worry about scaling so much if you have a whole-house water softener in place.

“When Does a Tankless Water Heater Need Replacing?”

Remember, even if you have your tankless system maintained on a regular basis, the system won’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your system with a new one. The good news is, most tankless water heater systems last 20 years or more!

If your tankless water heater starts failing before this point, it could be from lack of professional water heater maintenance. Keeping up with this service is the only way to ensure your system lives out its full term.

Schedule your service for water heaters in Loveland, CO with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Brand New Water Heater

There was probably a time in your life when you would have balked at the idea of pining for a new water heater and hoping one would be gifted to you during the holiday season. As an adult, however, you probably realize how incredible a gift that would be! Just because no one is planning on giving you a brand new water heater this year doesn’t mean that you can force your water heater through another year of service if it really has nothing left to give, though.

While a water heater replacement may not be the most exciting way in which to spend your money, it is something you’ll have to spend your money on eventually. If you ask us, it makes a lot more sense to schedule your water heater replacement before your system gives out on you entirely. That’s why we’re covering some of the reasons why you might want to consider replacing your water heater in today’s post. If you decide to do so, schedule service with our fine plumbers in Loveland, CO.

Is Your Water Heater Costing too Much to Run?

If your water heater is relatively new but is costing a lot to run, it’s possible that it just has a low efficiency rating. While you may be hesitant to replace a water heater that is technically working just fine due to high operating costs, the fact is that doing so can help you to save money in the long run by cutting down on your energy bills. It’s not an easy decision to make, but if you have the funds for a replacement, it’s probably a good idea.

You may also have a very old water heater that is costing a lot to run, and that is a much easier decision to make. Chances are that your system is running out of time anyway, so why not just pull the plug on it now, and start saving money sooner? If you’re looking to reduce operating costs, it’s tough to beat the savings of a brand new, high-efficiency system.

Are You Scheduling Frequent Repairs?

That’s a pretty sure sign that a replacement is a good option to consider. Just because a water heater can be fixed doesn’t mean it is worth fixing, remember. If your water heater is not very reliable, and you seem to be scheduling more frequent repairs, putting that money toward a replacement probably makes sense.

Not only will you save money on operating costs, but you’ll also be saving money on reduced repair needs. Even “minor” repairs can really add up, so let us know if you’re sick of sinking money into your system.

Do You Want Something Different?

It may sound crazy, but simply wanting a different system is more than enough reason for replacing your water heater. Maybe you want a tankless unit,  or even a heat pump water heater.  Whatever the case may be, remember that you use this system every day.  You should be using the system that you really want, and we’ll help you do so!

Schedule your water heater services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Great Water Heater

We know that water heaters may not be the most exciting investment in the world. A new family vehicle, for instance, might be something you’d anticipate more than a new water heater. That being said, the fact remains that your water heater is not going to last forever. You’ll need to replace it at some point—but with what? Another system capable of heating water for use throughout your home, yes, but what kind of system?

If you’re looking into your water heater options, then chances are that you’ve seen the two major one out there: tank and tankless systems. Today we’ll be turning to our expert plumbers in Windsor, CO, to help you determine which water heater is right for your needs. First, we’ll give you some background information on how these systems work, what sets them apart, and the pros and cons of each. Then, you simply need to contact us with any questions that you may have!

Eliminating Standby Energy Loss

This is really what it all comes down to. If your major interest in heating water is doing so as efficiently as possible, then it really is difficult to argue with a tankless water heater. Why? Because when you take the tank out of the equation, you also take the standby energy loss out of the equation.

Standby energy loss occurs when heat in the water heater by your water heater and stored in its tank transfers through that tank and into the air surrounding it. Heat is always going to move from hotter environments to cooler ones, remember.

When that happens, your water heater essentially winds up reheating water that it’s already heated. It may not be starting from scratch with cold water brought in through the main water line, as it would if you drained your tank, but it really adds up over time.

So Tankless Is Better?

Sure, in some cases—just as tank water heaters are better in others. One thing that you’ll notice is that tankless water heaters cost much more than tank models do. In the long run, they’re worth it. They last substantially longer than tank models do, and the improved energy efficiency plus the long lifespan can spell long-term savings.

However, some people just don’t want to spend the money up front, particularly if they’re not going to be in their home for many years to reap the benefits. There is also the factor of just how much hot water you use, and how much you use all at once.

A tankless water heater doesn’t heat water instantaneously, but it does do so on-demand. However, if you’re trying to take a hot shower while also running the dishwasher and the washing machine, the tankless system may be overwhelmed in scenarios that a properly sized tank water heater could handle. You can use more than one tankless system if you have a very high capacity household, but again: cost.

It’s a lot to think about, but we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


There are a lot of appliances and systems that we use these days to keep our homes comfortable and our lives convenient. When it comes to the hardest working appliance in any given home, the water heater is usually a big contender. You use hot water whenever you shower, do the laundry, wash the dishes, or just clean up in general. If you’re in the process of choosing a new water heater, you really need to know that you are making that decision carefully.

This means that you should weigh all of your options before deciding which water heater is right for you. We recommend that you consider using a tankless water heater in Wellington, CO. These unique systems have a lot to recommend them.

Where Is the Hot Water Stored?

If you are wondering where the hot water in a tankless water heater is stored, the answer is simple. There is no stored water. Instead, a tankless water heater operates in an on-demand fashion. Water is heated only as it is called for, while passing through the system. The unique design and operation of tankless water heaters allows for some significant benefits to homeowners.

  • Compact size means that tankless water heaters can fit into tight spaces, such as utility closets. This is ideal for homes with little storage space.
  • On-demand heating of water eliminates standby energy loss. There is no heated water stored that could cool down, so you don’t waste energy reheating water.
  • Long lifespans, generally in excess of 20 years, means you get a great return on your investment. Tankless water heaters simply last longer than tank models.

Of course, no system is perfect, nor is any single water heater the best option for every homeowner. Tankless water heaters are much more expensive than tank models. This price gap can be closed up over the years via energy savings, but some homeowners want to take advantage of a cheaper purchasing price. Tankless water heaters can also be more easily overwhelmed when a lot of hot water is called for at multiple points of use throughout the house.

Schedule your water heater services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Do you use a tank water heater in order to heat water for use throughout your home? If so, you have an anode rod in that water storage tank, and it serves a vital purpose in there. You may not know the component by name, but it is important that you familiarize yourself with it and its operation. After all, your anode rod is going to have to be replaced eventually, and you need to keep its condition in mind. Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, read the following post to learn more about what your anode rod does for your water heater in Windsor, CO.

Preventing Rust Via Self Sacrifice

Not to make an inanimate object sound too heroic, but there is good reason as to why anode rods are often called “sacrificial anodes.” You see, anode rods are composed of either aluminum or magnesium, generally. These materials actually serve to attract the corrosive elements in the water within the hot water tank that your water heater uses. Why would they do this?

As you probably know, steel will rust if exposed to water and oxygen for a period of time. For many reasons, most modern hot water storage tanks are made of steel. As a first defense against rusting, they are lined with glass. Over time and due to high temperature exposure, that glass will likely crack. The anode rod is the next line of defense.

By sacrificing itself for the good of the steel tank, the anode rod is able to protect your water heater as it allows itself to rust and corrode away. Eventually, that rod will need to be replaced, as it will continue to corrode until there is pretty much nothing left. We are happy to ensure the proper operation of every component in your water heater.

Schedule service with the professionals here at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.


Replacing a water heater may not be the most exciting way in which to spend your hard-earned money, but you must remember just how important your water heater is in your day to day routine. If you are serious about living conveniently and comfortably, then you are going to need a bountiful supply of hot water supplied throughout your home. If your water heater is no longer able to serve its function properly, then a water heater replacement in Loveland, CO is advisable. You will ideally replace your water heater before it breaks down entirely, which is why we’ve provided a few examples of when you may want to consider a water heater replacement.


Subpar Performance

Does your water heater consistently leave your hot showers running cold? If this has always been an issue, then it is likely that your hot water heater is just not large enough to handle the demand for hot water in your home. Replacing it is likely the only way in which to resolve this issue. If this is a relatively new development, though, it could be due to an operational problem of some kind. In many instances, repairs will be possible. Just remember that there is no rule saying that a water heater that can be repaired is actually worth repairing.

Frequent Repair Needs

There comes a point when your water heater is just not going to be worth investing in any longer. We understand that it may go against your instinct to opt for replacement over further repairs, but you must consider the ongoing cost of keeping your water heater up and running, as well as its age. If it is nearing the end of its projected lifespan, or requires repairs on a regular basis, it probably makes more sense financially to invest in a new system.

Low Efficiency Levels

Over time, your water heater is going to start operating at lower efficiency levels. There’s really nothing that can be done to stop the effects of time, though routine maintenance will certainly keep your system functioning as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. If your system is still costing too much to run, though, or always has due to a low efficiency rating, then investing in a newer, more efficient system can actually help you to save some money in the long run.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your water heater service.


We use a lot of different appliances and systems throughout the day in order to live our lives in a convenient and comfortable manner befitting the modern homeowner. Among these appliances is the water heater, and it is surely one of the most heavily used systems in any home. Every time that you take a hot shower, run your dishwasher, or do the linens, you are relying upon your water heater to provide you with an ample supply of effectively and efficiently heated water. That is why you should schedule your water heater services in Fort Collins, CO with us. We’ll make sure that you have the right water heater installed in your home, and that it continues to function well. Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to get started.


Tank vs. Tankless

When most homeowners think of a water heater, they’ll first envision a tank system. These water heaters are probably still the most prevalent in the residential sector, and their great reputation is well-earned. Tank water heaters store a significant amount of hot water at all times in their storage tanks. This helps to ensure that you always have an ample amount of hot water when you need it. It also helps to prevent the water heater from being overwhelmed when hot water is called for at multiple fixtures throughout the house. Standby energy loss is an issue with such systems, though, as heat from the water transfers through the tank to the air outside. Standby energy loss is minimal when you have a well-insulated tank, but is never truly eliminated.

Unless, of course, you eliminate the use of a tank from the equation altogether. This is possible when you opt for a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters forgo the storing of hot water, instead heating only the water that is needed, as it is needed. They are quite compact, taking up little room, and can be installed in small areas. However, they are also much more expensive to purchase than tank models, though this cost can be offset over time by energy savings. They may also be overwhelmed more easily in intsances of high hot water demand. Work with us to ensure that you have the right water heater for your home installed therein.


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