Should You Update Your Water Heater to a Tankless Model?

Living in Australia means being aware of the ecosystem that’s all around us, visible in the beaches, the parks, and the sprawling vistas of the great outdoors. But according to the Greendex country report, which measures the environmental sustainability and behaviors of ordinary citizens in 18 countries, Australia ranks rather low, coming in at thirteenth. This means that Australians are less likely to save energy—especially at home, which is reflected in Australians use of water heating.

For an average Australian home, water heating is the second largest factor in household energy usage after space heating and cooling, and the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in general. This makes it all the more important for Australians to consider switching to a tankless water heater, which can reduce energy use as compared to a gas heater. Plus, buying a tankless water heater has a range of other benefits for your home, too, that can outweigh installing or keeping a traditional model.

Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

In addition to the energy savings, tankless water heaters can save homeowners money on electricity bills. Depending on the model, you may be able to save up to 150 AUD per year by switching out your gas heater. Tankless water heaters also feature compact designs, minimising the amount of space they take up and making them moveable to non-traditional locations in the home.

While these benefits may all seem to outweigh traditional heaters, the primary downside to upgrading to tankless is just that—it’s an upgrade, and upgrades cost money. In some cases, tankless water heaters can cost more than three times what a traditional gas heater is priced. And, your home may not be able to support a tankless heater if your home has electric-only utilities, meaning you may have to add the cost of hiring an electrician to update your systems first.

Practical Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before making the decision to switch to a tankless water heater for your home, there are several practical considerations. As mentioned already, first you will want to make sure your home can support a tankless heater. Then, you will want to know your home’s hot water requirements—will your tankless heater need to heat a single bathroom, or the entire home? This will affect the placement and the capacity of the tank you purchase.

You will also want to consider the life expectancy on the tank. On average, tankless water heaters provide 20 years of service—twice the lifespan of a traditional water heater. If you are looking for a long-term utility investment, a tankless heater may be a wise decision.

Now that you know the pros and cons of tankless water heaters, you can make the move to switch to tankless from your traditional heater after taking into account all of the practical considerations.

DIY Solutions for Common Washing Machine Problems

Knowing how to troubleshoot common washing problems is essential if you are to have a degree of autonomy at home and save money. A washer is one of the most indispensable machines in your abode making it a problem when it breaks down. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 97% of households in Australia own a washing machine with the average loads per week ranging from 5 to 6. The washing machine is, indeed, a workhorse such that when it stops working, you get flustered wondering how you can deal with the dirty laundry. To help you cope with your machines, here are some common problems you should be aware of and how to deal with them on your own.

Machine Won’t Start

When your appliance does not start, you immediately expect the worst. Don’t. Check first if your circuit breaker is working and verify that your machine receives electricity. Test if the outlet where your washer is connected works. A half-closed door will also prevent the machine from starting so make sure to shut it completely.

In addition, an overheated motor may be responsible as well for an unresponsive machine. Wait a few minutes then plug the machine again. If it still does not work, you need to get a qualified electrician to look at your problem.

Clothes Are Still Wet

Another common washer problem that owners encounter is that clothes are still wet when you take them out of the machine. This depends on the spin settings that you chose and the type of fabrics that you are washing. For example, wools and delicate clothing need to be spun gently so they will come out damp after the cycle is completed. You can always spin the clothes again at a higher setting once they are done for drier garments.

Clogged hoses, obstructions or incorrect loads of clothes are other reasons why the spin cycle does not work properly. You can check for kinked or bent hoses and look for coins, buttons or anything that causes blockages in the drain hose. Make sure that you are not overloading the drum that can cause it to run improperly. Furthermore, use only the recommended amount of detergent and fabric softener when running the machine.

Leaking Water

There are also times when you might find water leaking from the bottom of your machine. When this happens, check that your drain hoses are not clogged and are attached properly. Obstructions in the hoses can also cause the leak as well as an improperly balanced load. Correct the imbalance by adding, removing or shifting clothes around.

Smelly Machine

You might also find a strange odour wafting from your machine. This can be caused by excessive detergent or fabric conditioner use. This can easily be rectified by maintaining your machines properly. There are special products that you can use to clean your machine at least once a month. Other brands of washers also recommend that you run your machines at 60°C or 90 °C without clothes after 10 washes to remove residues that accumulate inside the machine.

At the end of the day, preventive maintenance including cleaning the machine and checking that parts are not worn out such as hoses or pumps can help extend the life of your washer. Washer problems are common, but not completely unexpected. If you learn to check for causes of problems and can troubleshoot before calling in technicians, it will save you money, prolong your machine’s life and lessen your carbon footprint.