LESLIE: Now we’ve got Ed in Indiana on the line who has got a water-heating question. How can we help you with that project?
ED: Hi. Thanks for having me on. Well, what I’m looking at right now is I’m trying to make my home more energy-efficient. And I’m looking at the – GE came out with a GeoSpring hybrid hot-water heater, which basically runs like a hot – like a heat pump.
TOM: It’s a heat-pump water heater, yes. Mm-hmm.
ED: Right. And if you figure the dollars that it costs – it’s about $1,600 – and the savings per year could be up to about $320. They’re saying about 62 percent more energy-efficient. Looks like about a five-year payback. But this is a new product on – out on the market and I’d just kind of like to have your thoughts on it.
TOM: So the technology has been out for probably about two years now. We’re starting to see the heat-pump water heaters be released by multiple manufacturers, including GE. GE makes a great appliance. The other thing to figure into this is that there is a tax credit that’s available. Now, it’s not as big as it was last year but it’s still decent; it’s a $300 federal tax credit if you buy and install it in 2011.
So, the technology is solid and this is for folks, though, that right now have electric water heaters. So you’re not comparing this against gas. You had electric originally? Is that correct?
ED: Oh, yeah. I’m totally electric.
TOM: OK. So, you’re totally electric, you’re basically heating your water the most expensive way possible and now you want to try to save some money. With a heat-pump water heater, definitely the way to go with that.
ED: Yeah. It looks like about a five-year payback period if it is true. You’ll save about 320 a year, so …
TOM: Right. And you’ve got to use them correctly. They’re very sophisticated, though, with their control systems.
ED: Yeah, absolutely. And I know water – heating your water is probably the most costly thing that you can do in your home but we’ll have to have a …
TOM: Yeah. It certainly can be expensive but these water heaters are very, very good at what they do. They employ basically two technologies: they have the heat pump, which does most of the water heating most of the time but under periods of high demand, they still have the electric-resistance heat built into it. So you’re not going to run out of water because you’re heating it with a heat pump.
ED: Alright. Well, thanks so much. I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.