waterHeaters.jpgFor water heater installation, repair, service and replacement, Woodfin is the leading expert. We install gas water heaters, indirect water heaters, tankless water heaters and tank-style water heaters throughout the Richmond area. In addition to installing gas water heaters, we also service oil water heaters in the Richmond area.

For helpful homeowner tips to conserve water and fuel, please find our conservation tips below!

The average water heater consumes 25 percent of every dollar spent on your home's energy use! Like most appliances, water heaters have improved greatly in recent years. Today's models are much more energy efficient. We can think about it this way - some vehicles get 17 miles to the gallon, while more efficient vehicles can go 30+ miles on a gallon of gas. They use fuel more efficiently. The same is true for some water heaters, they use energy more efficiently. Buy one of those and you'll spend less money each month to get the same amount of hot water.

The average life expectancy of a water heater is 13+ years. Tankless water heaters are estimated to last 25 years. That's how long you'll be living with the decision you make now. If you choose a water heater that saves you money, the savings will continue for years.

Tank-Style Water Heaters

Pros of a Tank-Style Water Heater

  1. Lower upfront cost for the purchase of a tank-style unit.
  2. Repairs are less expensive because of the availability and simplicity of tank-style water heaters compared to tankless or heat pump water heaters.
  3. Tank-style water heaters come in a variety of sizes to fit the needs of your home and family.
  4. A gas-powered tank-style heater can function during a power outage.

Cons of a Tank-Style Water Heater

  1. Due to their bulky size, tank-style water heaters can be difficult to fit in smaller areas.
  2. They become more susceptible to leaks as the unit ages which can result in damage or repair costs.
  3. Continues heating until your preset temperature is reached which can raise your monthly utility bills.
  4. Lower system life expectancy compared to a tankless or heat pump water heating system.

Tankless Water Heaters

Pros of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Gas tankless water heaters save a lot of energy. Each year you can save up to 25 percent of energy in comparison with tank-style style water heaters. The reason for such economy is quite self-explicit: tankless gas water heaters use fuel only when hot water is needed.
  2. Tankless water heaters are compact in size and virtually eliminate standby losses - energy wasted when hot water cools down in long pipes or while it's sitting in the storage tank.
  3. High efficiency is a typical advantage of tankless gas water heaters. ENERGY STAR® states that tankless heating systems have energy factor up to .95, while the top efficient tank water heaters have only .67.
  4. The compact size of tankless gas water heaters makes them easy to install, and they occupy less space.
  5. Equipment life may be longer than tank-style water heaters because they are less subject to corrosion. Expected life of tankless water heaters is 20 years, compared to 10 to 15 years for tank-type water heaters.
  6. Tankless water heaters range in price from a couple hundred dollars for a small under-sink unit up to a few thousand dollars for a gas-fired unit that delivers 6+ gallons per minute. Typically, the more hot water the unit produces, the higher the cost.

Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Tankless water heaters usually cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous uses such as multiple showers and laundry.
  2. Tankless gas water heaters are, unfortunately, more expensive than conventional water heaters.
  3. Maintenance is to be performed once a year according to the manuals and instructions. It is important not to forget about it.
  4. Electric units will draw more instantaneous power than tank-type water heaters. If electric rates include a demand charge, operation may be expensive.
  5. Electric tankless water heaters require a relatively high electric power draw because water must be heated quickly to the desired temperature. Make sure your wiring is up to the demand.
  6. In most cases, electric tankless water heaters will cost more to operate than gas tankless water heaters.
  7. Tankless gas water heaters require a direct vent or conventional flue. If a gas-powered unit has a pilot light, it can waste a lot of energy.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Pros of Heat Pump Water Heaters

  1. The high efficiency of heat pump water heaters can save you hundreds of dollars annually on your energy bills.
  2. You can earn up to $2,000 in federal tax credits for the installation of a heat pump water heater, as well as potential state or manufacturer rebates.
  3. Reduce your carbon footprint by installing a heat pump water heater. These units use less electricity or gas to operate, which will help lower your home's greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. These high-tech water heaters have a longer life expectancy compared to a traditional tank-style model.

Cons of Heat Pump Water Heaters

  1. These units have a much higher upfront cost compared to traditional tank-style water heaters.
  2. Like the issue with most heat pumps, these water heaters have trouble functioning in colder temperatures.
  3. Heat pump water heaters can take a longer amount of time to produce higher volumes of hot water.
  4. Because these units operate by absorbing the heat from the air, smaller homes may not have enough air space for the water heater to function at maximum capacity.

View Some of Our Work

Boiler/water heater upgrade.



  • Upgrade to a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® qualified water heater.
  • Wash clothes in the coolest water possible — 80 percent of the cost to run your washer is for heating the water.
  • Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
  • Choose a high-efficiency dishwasher — they use 25 percent less energy than conventional models.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° to 120°. You'll save 3 percent to 5 percent in water heating costs for each 10° reduction.
  • Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads and faucets.
  • Fix leaky hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month — more than a person uses in two weeks.
  • Install a water heater blanket for greater heating efficiency.


Repair leaky faucets. They waste water and energy.

Conserve Water. Your biggest opportunity for savings is to use less hot water. In addition to saving energy (and money), cutting down on hot water use helps conserve dwindling water supplies, which in some parts of the country is a critical problem. A family of four each showering five minutes a day can use about 700 gallons per week — a three-year drinking water supply for one person! Water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators can cut hot water use in half. That family of four can save 14,000 gallons of water a year and the energy required to heat it.

Use cold water to operate your garbage disposal. Cold water use saves energy and is the recommendation of most disposal manufacturers.

When washing dishes by hand, use a sink stopper or dishpan so water — hot or cold — doesn't rush down the drain. Remember, too, that hot water running needlessly not only wastes water, but it wastes energy as well.

Lower the Water Heater Temperature. Keep your water heater thermostat set at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. For most households, 120°F is fine (about midway between the "low" and "medium" setting). Each 10°F reduction in water temperature will generally save 3-5 percent on your water heating costs. When you are going away on vacation, you can turn the thermostat down to the lowest possible setting, or turn the water heater off altogether (unless freezing is possible) for additional savings. With a gas water heater, make sure you know how to relight the pilot if you're going to turn it off while away.

Insulate Hot Water Pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes will reduce losses as the hot water is flowing to your faucet and, more importantly, it will reduce standby losses when the tap is turned off and then back on within an hour or so. A great deal of energy and water is wasted waiting for the hot water to reach the tap. Even when pipes are insulated, the water in the pipes will eventually cool, but it stays warmer much longer than it would if the pipes weren't insulated.

Insulate your water heater. Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it's in an unheated area of your home. The blanket could save you up to 10 percent on water heating costs. (Some newer models are so well insulated that you don't need to wrap them. Check first to see if adding an insulating blanket to your water heater will affect the warranty.)