The average family spends between $400 and $600 per year to heat water for cleaning dishes and taking showers. This is a significant expense when you consider the efficiency (or lack of efficiency) of a home’s water heater. Most consumers use a typical gas storage water heater that is no more efficient than water heaters sold 20 years ago.
For a number of years, we’ve been urging customers to go tankless. When compared to conventional water heaters, the gas tankless water heaters will last homeowners twice as long and can save them considerably on overall heating costs. Tankless systems save consumers by providing hot water only as it is needed, versus conventional heaters that continuously heat water.
Tankless systems are an ideal energy saving solution if you are willing to pay more upfront. However, the result is a nearly 30 percent reduction in water heating bills. Tankless models are also a great option if you have limited space and do not want to worry about tank leaks or water damage.
Unfortunately, most consumers are unlikely to shop for a new water heater until their existing one fails, putting homeowners in a rush to buy a new model without considering all the options. Water heaters typically last between 10 and 15 years, so it is best to act early and replace your water heater before it becomes an issue.
When researching for a new water heater, be sure to consider your home’s needs, including size, fuel type and cost. Keep in mind that gas tankless systems require a large natural gas line and proper ventilation. Whatever option you choose, be sure to have a qualified plumbing contractor install and maintain your water heater.
Once an energy efficient water heater is installed and maintained, homeowners can implement additional energy-saving techniques, such as insulating hot water pipes, installing low-flow shower heads, and installing a hot water recirculation line. These heat and water saving techniques can save consumers an additional five percent in water and heating costs.