LESLIE: Doug in North Carolina has a water heating question. How can we help you?
DOUG: My home is about ten years old and I was wondering if it ever loses the water heater, what do you recommend. The tankless-type water heater, I’ve seen quite a bit about those. One even advertises, or heard it advertises, forever. And I was just wondering, the tankless or the tank-type water heater. I currently have a tank-type water heater and occasionally, with a teenage daughter and an adolescent son, I do run out of hot water from time to time.
TOM: Oh, yeah. You need a bigger water heater or you need one that doesn’t run out. Doug, I’m in your situation – you know, my kids are getting big – and I think a tankless is definitely the way to go. Little more expensive on the upfront to buy it and install it but it offers you a lot of benefits. Not only is it much more energy-efficient than a standard tank water heater – which, if you think about it, has to keep water heated all the time. Whether you’re using it or not it doesn’t matter; it still stays hot – but a tankless heats it on demand.
Now, do you have gas; natural gas?
TOM: OK, so you’re good shape on the fuel side of this. So, I would recommend that you look at either the Rinnai tankless or the Rheem tankless; both great brands, good products and I think that you’re going to find that that’s the most cost-effective solution for you and the one that’s going to keep everybody in the family happy.
DOUG: OK, now if I want to go electric, do they have electric tankless water heaters?
TOM: They do not. They do not. Because you can’t get the same efficiencies with an electric tankless. Now, if you do want to go with electric, Rheem has something called a heat pump water heater, the HP50, which uses a heat-pump technology to get quite a bit of savings out of it. But if you have natural gas in your house, I don’t recommend you ever go to electric. I think you should stay with natural gas and I think you should go with a natural gas-fired tankless. Just make sure you size it properly for the number of bathrooms and you’ll be good to go.
DOUG: And they’ve got them for LP just as well as natural, right?
TOM: Oh, absolutely. Yes they do.
DOUG: OK, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.