If you’re remodeling your home, thinking about the water heater might seem rather dull. However, this is one place where a home renovation can save you money. Here are some descriptions of energy efficient water heaters.
Gas Water Heaters: If you want to go with a traditional gas water heater, choose one that is Energy Star certified, guaranteeing the most efficient technology. They are slightly more expensive than less efficient models, but it is estimated you gain back this money in fewer than three years.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless Water Heater: Conventional water heaters use energy 24/7 to keep your water hot, even when you’re not using it. Tankless or demand water heaters heat the water as it flows through the pipes, so it only heats what you need. This creates a substantial savings on energy costs. Demand water heaters provide hot water continuously, so you don’t have to worry about it running out. They are also quite a bit smaller than conventional tank water heaters and some can be installed outside, saving space indoors. They make an ideal home improvement project because they have a life expectancy of 20 years, far more than conventional heaters.
Heat Pump Water Heater
Heat Pump Water Heaters: A new technology, electric heat pump water heaters could save the typical family quite a bit each year when compared to a standard electric heater. They work similarly to heat pumps that are used for heating and air conditioning purposes and combine with your HVAC system. They work by drawing in warm outside air to heat the water, so they are only effective in warm climates. Homeowners can recoup the higher initial investment over time. (Most estimates are around three years.)
Gas Condensing Water Heaters: This is an even newer technology, only introduced in 2010. Using more efficient heat exchangers to capture heat from the fuel source, gas condensing water heaters can shave 30 percent off your energy bills and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. Greater efficiency allows them to provide a continuous stream of hot water, so you don’t have to worry if you’re the last one to shower!
Solar Water Heater
Solar Water Heaters: Solar water heaters can cut your water heating bill and your carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent compared to an electric hot water heater. This is the equivalent of not driving your car four months a year; a solar water heater’s average lifespan is 20 years, much longer than that of a traditional gas or electric water heater. Although solar water heaters take 5-10 years to pay for themselves, you can offset this cost with a federal tax credit. Enterprising do-it-yourselfers can save thousands by building their own systems.
Which water heater are you considering for your next home improvement project?
Joaquin Erazo, Jr. is the senior vice president of marketing and public relations at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. Find a home remodeling company near you or read our home remodeling tips blog.