“Most homeowners should think about what they would do if their water heater or air conditioning system breaks,” says Bill Alderson, director of marketing for Rheem, a manufacturer of heating and cooling, water heating and more. “It’s inevitable any product in your home might go out, but these are two systems people really rely on.”

Go green

“The typical American home wastes around 12,000 gallons of water a year waiting for their water to get hot in the shower,” says Alderson. “Investing in a water heater is a more efficient way to warm up your H20.” The U.S. Department of Energy says the average water heater lasts 10 to 15 years and advises consumers to research new products now, before their current products fail.

Hire a contractor or HVAC specialist to do a “comfort analysis” to help determine problems, such as frequently running out of hot water. Then, invest in products that are both environmentally-friendly and good for your budget.

Maintenance

Annual maintenance can help extend the life of your products. Take for example, servicing a water heater: “If you’re in an area with different levels of water quality — you might get sediment built up in your water heater,” says Alderson. “For the first few years, that’s not a big issue. But when you get to year five, you should have your water heater checked and drained.”

Finally, you can control energy use and costs by utilizing internet connectivity. Systems including water heaters and air conditions can be turned on or off and temperature can be remotely adjusted with an app.