Nice and hot!
If your water heater is approaching its twentieth anniversary then it may be about to go. There have been a lot of improvements in water heaters in the last few years and one of the best is the "on demand " style heaters.
Instead of having a tank, these heaters make hot water as you need it. They come in gas and electric models, and also in different sizes.
They can be placed at point of use for things like additions, or you can use them for your whole house.
A hot water on demand heater will save a significant amount on utility bills. They do cost more than conventional style heaters but not enough to make them out of reach of the average homeowner.
The money saved on utility bills can make up the cost difference in one year.
There are many reliable plumbing companies in the Columbia area that can give you an estimate on installation.
If you are handy at plumbing you might want to try installing it yourself. The salesman at the big home stores will be happy to help you select the size you need.
Keep in mind that if you get a gas model all gas connections must be made by a licensed gas plumber.
Check with your local municipality to see if a permit is necessary. This varies for different areas around Columbia.
A tankless water heater will keep you in hot showers for years. They are expected to last twice as long as conventional heaters and there is no sitting around waiting for the water to warm up.