Tankless water heater for on-demand hot water.

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

One of the most popular upgrades in homes today is the tankless water heater. However, this upgrade, while convenient, is not a good choice for every home. We put together a list of some of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters to help you decide if it’s a good choice for you.

Why You May Want to Consider a Tankless Water Heater

  • They save energy – Tankless water heaters can save energy. This both reduces your monthly utility bills and helps you leave a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Hot water is always available – If you ever had to take a cold shower after someone else in your home used up all the hot water, you’ll appreciate the benefit of always having on-demand warmth. Having hot water always available is probably the number one reason why people choose this upgrade.
  • They are compact – A tankless hot water heater doesn’t have a tank. This makes it smaller than a standard tank water heater. Your new water heater will not take as much valuable real estate within your home.

Reasons to Consider a Traditional Heater

  • Cost – The upfront cost of a tankless water heater can be much higher than a traditional unit. While you will save some of this money in decreased utility costs, that initial investment can be overwhelming.
  • Venting requirements – Because tankless units have high-powered burners to create hot water on demand, there are additional venting requirements. You may also need a larger diameter gas pipe if it is serviced with a gas burner. This makes installing a tankless water heater a job best left to professionals.
  • Only serves one faucet at a time – A tankless water heater only serves one faucet at a time. For example, if someone is taking a hot shower it may not be possible to get hot water in the kitchen to wash dishes at the same time. This can be quite inconvenient, especially for larger families where many people may be attending to different tasks.

As you can see, there are many benefits and drawbacks of a tankless water heater. Deciding to upgrade to one of these is a very big decision. If you’d like more information about tankless water heaters or to talk to an expert to decide if it’s right for you, reach out to us at KLEBS today. We are your local plumbing experts.

KLEBS residential heating expert talking with customers about various home heating options.

Tips for Purchasing a New Furnace in Anchorage or Mat-Su

Your heating system is likely one of the most used appliances or systems in your home. When you think about how hard it works to keep your family comfortable all year round, plus the cost associated with replacement, it only makes sense to do your homework when it comes to researching this piece of machinery. While it is always best to discuss your specific needs with a professional, you’ll find that these five tips can guide you towards making a smart decision on a new furnace.

  • Size Matters – As a general rule, the bigger the furnace, the more expensive it will be. However, it doesn’t always pay to choose a smaller machine. Depending on the size of your heated space, a smaller furnace may not have the power necessary to keep it warm. Not only will it be harder to keep your family comfortable, but you may find that it actually costs you more to run since it will have to operate nearly continuously! Measure your heated space and use this information when choosing a new furnace.
  • Compare Fuel Types – Do you want a gas or oil-fueled furnace? Discuss the options with a professional for a better idea of which would be more economical for your particular home. The answer can vary greatly even within the same geographical area.
  • Think About Efficiency – Spending a little extra for an energy-efficient furnace can pay off in a big way. You’ll spend less each month on your utility bills and the difference in cost may be made up very quickly. Plus, you’ll feel good about doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Consider the Quiet Factor – There are certain features that make some furnaces louder than others. If you need or want a quieter machine (such as if you have napping children or run a business out of the home) a variable speed model may be a good investment.
  • Upgrading Now Makes Sense – If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to zoned heating or installing a programmable thermostat, doing it at the same time as you install a new furnace may be a cost-efficient option.

If you’d like to talk to an HVAC expert in Anchorage or the Mat-Su Valley, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at KLEBS. We would love to show you the latest in furnace technology as well as energy-efficient models that can save you money. Our goal is always to make sure you have the equipment you need to keep warm and comfortable, plus service to back it up – at a price you can afford.

Toy house wrapped in a warm scarf, signifying home winterization or heating.

Winterizing Your HVAC System

Even when you live in part of the world where the air conditioner is seldom used, there is a change in seasons which leads to a change in HVAC usage. You may begin using the heater more than usual or it will need to work harder to maintain the temperature in your home. Because of this, it is important to take a few moments during this time of the year to winterize it or prepare your HVAC unit for the winter to come. We put together a few tips to help you winterize your system as a whole. Doing this can help you avoid future repairs and get the most economical performance all year round.

  • Clean the outdoor unit – If you have a unit located outside the home, take a few moments to clean it. Remove any debris that is trapped inside of the unit including twigs and leaves. If possible, use a hose on a warm, dry day to spray away dust and dirt. Use care during this process so that you do not bend any fans or damage the machine in any way.
  • Cover AC unit – If you do have an AC unit outdoors, consider keeping it covered during winter. This can keep your system working properly and avoid issues that may damage your system as a whole. Make sure the unit is clean and dry and use a cover specifically designed for AC unit. This type of cover allows the system to breathe and prevents moisture from being trapped inside.
  • Change your air filter – If you do not already know where your air filter is located find it. Then, change the air filter. You should be doing this at the very least every 3 to 4 months, but changing it more often may be necessary if you live in a home with more than the average air pollution (such as if you own pets or if anyone smokes in the home). Changing your filter regularly helps the system work more economically and may lead to improved performance from your heater.
  • Check exposed ductwork – Regularly checking your exposed ductwork is a vital way to make sure your system continues performing as expected. Even a small leak can lead to a lack of performance. Finding a problem as soon as possible can save you money that you can avoid spending.
  • Clean up around your furnace – Flammable items should never be stored near the furnace. Check the main furnace area and make sure you have not allowed items to encroach in the space needed surrounding your heating unit. Then, take a moment to sweep any dust and debris out of the way too.
  • Review your programmable thermostat – If you have a programmable thermostat, it can be easy to “set it and forget it.” Now is a good time to check your program settings and make sure they reflect the current needs of your family. Adjusting the temperature by even a single degree can save you significantly on your power bill each month.

The above steps are a good place to begin in keeping your HVAC system working well year-round. However, there is no replacement for professional maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns about your heating or HVAC system, reach out to us at KLEBS today.