Should I Buy a Solar-Powered Water heater?

It is important to sort out the truth from the myth when it comes to making a purchase and commitment as big as a solar hot water heater.  Solar energy is a fast-growing form of energy collection for homes across the Longview, TX area. This is leading many people who already have solar-powered homes, or are looking into making the switch, to wonder “should I buy a solar water heater?” There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to buying hot water heaters, and it is important to sort out the truth from the myth when it comes to making a purchase and commitment as big as a solar hot water heater. Price: While not so much a misconception, it needs to be understood that solar water heaters are by far the most expensive type of water heater. They typically cost upwards of $3000 in installation costs. Energy Costs: Solar water heaters are the absolute best way to save money on your hot water bills. Solar water heaters have the potential to decrease a household’s carbon footprint by at least 50%. Colder areas: In areas that have the potential to freeze from time to time, (North Texas) heaters will need an anti-freeze system installed. Another additional cost upfront. Home location: The location of your home is extremely important when deciding if your home would be a good candidate for solar water heating. Making sure you live in a location that gets relatively consistent sun is important. In our area, the main concern would be houses that have a lot of large shady trees. Bad Weather: Typically, another upfront cost is a backup energy supply. This will come in handy if you have an extended period of cloudy, bad weather. Maintenance costs: Since solar water heaters are so complicated, the water heaters require much more maintenance. If you think a solar water heater is right for you, or have any more questions, please contact the expert Longview plumbers at Bird Dog Plumbing. Our technicians are always ready to help find the water heater that fits your household’s...
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How Do Instant Hot Water Heaters Work?

Switching to an instant (tankless) water heater is a fast-growing trend in the US right now. Instant water heaters are smaller, last longer, and are more efficient than their tank counterparts. As great as all of this sounds, it is important to understand how they work before deciding if a tankless water heater is right for your home. How do instant water heaters work? One of the most important things to understand is the water heater does not have a tank to store the hot water in, so it must “instantly” heat it up. One advantage of not storing the water is instant water heaters have a much higher lifespan than tank heaters. Not having water constantly sitting inside the system prevents rust from damaging the system, increasing the life span by nearly 2-5 years. In order to heat the water, it flows through a pipe in the heater, and is heated by a heating element as it flows through the heater. There are two main ways this is achieved: Electric – When using electricity, water heaters use a coil that heats up around the pipe, warming the water inside. Electrical units are more efficient in terms of lost heat, however, they require a lot of energy. Electric instant water heaters also are generally able to heat less water at a time, making them more attractive as a point-of-use heater. Gas – Gas instant water heaters work by using gas burners placed around the pipe to heat up the water as it flows through the heater. Gas instant water heaters provide more heat over a period of time, making them better for whole-house heaters. The water is then pushed to the open tap. One drawback to this is that the heater must be constantly be heating the water until the tap is turned off because the water can lose its heat as it makes its way to its desired tap. Typically, instant water heaters require extra, special ventilation since they use high-powered burners. Gas heaters also usually require a larger gas pipe than the rest of the house has. Due to these reasons, installation costs can be high. How much do they cost? Speaking of costs, instant water heaters are expensive upfront. In fact, some models are up to 3 times more expensive than tank water heaters. Installation costs are also relatively high. Gas models especially require a lot...
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What Type of Water Heater is Right For Me?

When your water heater is starting to reach the end of its life cycle, many customers have a hard time figuring out which type of water heater is right for them when they need a replacement. There are many different types of water heaters which makes this such a daunting task. Luckily the Longview plumbers at Bird Dog Plumbing are here to help make your search as simple as possible! Fuel Types One of the first things to consider when selecting a water heater is what type of fuel will be used to power it. The two most common types are Gas –  Gas is used to heat most conventional forms of water heaters. It is widely available and has a relatively low energy cost. Gas also re-heat very quickly. This really comes in handy if you have a large family and know that multiple people will be using hot water at the same time. Electricity –  Like Gas, one of the major pros of electricity is that it is widely available. A major pro is that it does not have really any of the safety concerns that come with using a gas system. Electric water heaters are also smaller and easier to connect. Typically electric water heaters work best for smaller households. They are slightly slower at heating up water, and use more energy; so using them if you use lots of hot water is not super economical. Types of Water Heaters There are a lot of different types of water heaters. This is why figuring out which one fits your house best is so difficult. However, knowing which kind of fuel you are going to use narrows down the options. Here are some of the most common types of water heaters: Storage– Storage water heaters are probably the most common, and the ones that everyone pictures when they think about water heaters. They are basically large tanks that hold hot water from the top and heats up the cold water at the bottom. The biggest pros of theses are that they are so inexpensive to purchase. They are also really good for households that use lots of hot water at the same time. However, they waste a lot of energy due to the fact that they are always on standby. Tankless– Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. This type of heater...
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How to Prevent Your Pipes from Bursting (Video)

 Low temperatures greatly increase the risk of water a pipe bursting. Broken pipes caused by cold weather can cause significant property damage. Always protect your pipes, especially in unheated interior spaces like basements and attics. Interior water damage can cost you thousands of dollars to repair after the fact. For the best protection and peace of mind, apply the following tips to defeat the cold. Investigate Pipe Insulation Options: Pipe Insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at the hardware store Keep Garage Doors Closed: Keeping the cold away from water supply lines in the garage helps to protect pipes. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors: This allows warm air to circulate and around the plumbing. Let the cold water drip from a faucet: Even a trickle of water through the tap can prevent cold pipes from freezing solid. Keep the thermostat set at a fixed temperature: Avoid turning the thermostat down at night even if it saves you a few bucks. Add insulation in the long term: Insulating attics, basements, and crawl spaces help maintain a safe temperature for pipes. If you have frozen or busted pipes, make sure to: Turn on the faucet Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. Remember that an extra expense or effort often outweighs a hefty repair bill. For more information on protecting or repairing pipes, call the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview,...
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Pros and Cons of a Gas Pool Heater

In-ground pools are an amazingly convenient and beneficial investment, as long as they are well functioning and usable. A natural gas-powered heater is one of the most common and potentially profitable pool features worth investigating. The water temperature of your pool can significantly drop during the winter months, or even cold evenings. Unless you are keen on swimming in brisk water, a heater may be worth investigating. Like any major investment, installing an in-ground gas-powered pool heater certainly presents a range of pros and cons that you should be fully aware of before making a decision. Rapid Heating: Natural gas pool heaters are significantly more powerful than electric or solar pump heaters. If you want your pool to heat up as quickly as possible, natural-gas heaters are the best and most efficient option. Rapid heating is especially handy if you don’t use your pool regularly. Not to mention the freedom it allows when welcoming guests or throwing an unplanned pool party, independent of weather and climate conditions. Purchase Price: Purchasing and installing a natural gas-powered pool heater can be less expensive than competing electric, solar, or heat pumps. That said, gas heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and models that can cost anywhere from $900 to $2500. Electric and solar pumps can reach much higher prices, running anywhere from $2000 to $4000. Be that as it may, depending on the use, operational costs linked with gas-powered pumps can make them less cost-effective in the long run. Energy Cost: It’s essential to assess and consider all costs, including the price of running a gas-powered heater compared to other industry alternatives. Natural gas heaters are generally more expensive to operate, however, this depends on the fluctuating market price of electricity, compared to gas at the moment. Solar heat is certainly the most energy-efficient option, next to heat pumps which, utilize existing warm air to heat the water. Lifespan: Natural gas heaters are durable, however, in the long run, they tend to accumulate more wear and tear than other heating options. They typically last five or more years, requiring some minor maintenance along the way. That said, the lifespan of a gas heater depends on average use, weather conditions, and the desired temperature of the water inside your pool. Heat pumps and electric pumps tend to last 8-10 years, while solar can last up to 20 years in comparison. Hopefully,...
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5 Advantages of purchasing tankless water heaters in longview tx

Buying a gas or electric water heater has been a debate for years. But with new advances Here are 5 advantages of purchasing an electric tankless water heater for your home.   1. Cost-effective Tankless water heaters are cheaper to install. The initial purchase cost is higher, but you’ll save in the long run with a tankless heater.   2. Limitless installation locations Tankless heaters can fit in tight spaces Because of its compact size, it can be placed in closets, crawl spaces or even outdoors.   3. They last longer Traditional water heaters last 8-12 years, but a tankless water heater’s lifespan is 10-15 years and its easier to service.   4. Uses less energy No need for a pilot light or “standby” heat loss Tankless water heater can be 24-34% more energy efficient than traditional tank heaters.   5. Minimized damage if it malfunctions Because you can place tankless heaters in various locations, that limits the carnage caused by a leaky or damaged water heater.   For the best information on tankless water heaters in Longview Tx, contact Bird Dog Plumbing. Visit http://birddogplumbingllc.com/ for more info.   Bird Dog Plumbing | Water Heaters Longview TX |...
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