Want to conserve more energy in your home? Replacing toilets and faucets, and buying energy efficient appliances is a great start. But don’t forget about your water heater. Up to 25 percent of each energy dollar you spend within your home goes to heating water.
Today’s water heaters are a lot more energy efficient than models produced even a few years ago. And with more options in heating your water, there’s a perfect choice for your home.
The average water heater has a life expectancy of around 13 years. Even if you choose a new water heater that saves $5 per month in energy costs, that can add up to a savings of $780 over the life of the water heater.
Lets look at some water heater comparisons, and help you decide the right one for you.
Electric versus Gas
Different homes were built to accommodate different types of water heaters. Check to see what your home is currently using. In many cases a home isn’t equipped to use both. If a home has no access to a gas supply, there’s no way to install a gas water heater.
There is little difference in the overall efficiency of electric versus gas. Energy prices vary all the time for both, and ultimately the decision should come down to the easiest to install in your home.
If you live in a rural area, your water heater may work off of propane. Propane is usually less expensive than electric, and can be the perfect choice for your home.
Solar and Tankless
Solar and tankless hot water systems are expanding in popularity. Solar models use the sun to warm the water, and then store the hot water for future use.
Tankless water heaters don’t use a tank, but instead heat the water on demand. Common misconceptions about tankless water heaters are that you’ll receive instant hot water on demand, and that hot water will always be available. It still takes time to run the hot water from the processor to the tap. And depending on how much hot water you demand at one time – for multiple showers and other usage – you can have issues with hot water supply.
The key with both of these systems is finding out as much as you can before you make a large investment into newer technology. Check with your local plumber for more information.