Do you have any idea how old your hot water heater is? There should be a tag on the front of your water heater that looks similar to the photo. At the very least it should have the model number and serial number so you can google those numbers to find out the age. But many more labels are similar to the photo with the actual age the unit was purchased and installed in your house.
The BAD news is that most home water heaters are too old to be considered safe anymore. The average life span of a water heater that has been well maintained is only 8-10 years. After that many will develop leaks that could lead to flooding and expensive damage to your property. The good news is that water heaters are relatively inexpensive to replace. Read more about saving money if you replace your hot water heater this year…
If you’re even thinking you might move one day, rather than purchasing another water heater that stores water, you might look into an instant on hot water source. Yes, they cost more, but:
- If you purchase a qualifying instant on hot water system, you will qualify for an Oregon tax credit (which can offset part of the cost of the unit).
- Your investment will increase the value of your house – and the more energy efficient items you have in your home, the higher the value (up to 4% more than a comparable home in the same neighborhood with a lower energy score.)
Most states offer tax credits and other forms of rebates to property owners who install energy efficient appliances. In Oregon, energy saving appliances and home improvements could qualify for both an Oregon state tax credit AND an Energy Trust of Oregon rebate for the 2017 tax year. Unfortunately, all federal tax credits for energy improvements expired in 2016, and to date there has been no discussion about extending those credits for 2017.