Choosing a New Water Heater
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got David from North Carolina who has a question about heat and hot water. What can we do for you?
DAVID: I’m interested in knowing what would be the best route as far as going with instant hot water; whether I want to stay with electric or go ahead and have a gas pack or something like that put in.
TOM: Are you talking about a water heater? Not instant hot water, like for your sink, right?
DAVID: Yeah, instant hot water for – yeah, sinks and showers.
TOM: (overlapping voices) For the whole house, right?
TOM: Now, do you have natural gas or propane available, David?
DAVID: We can have in-ground tanks put in or outside, you know. (inaudible at 0:09:39.6).
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Propane, though. Right. Well, I tell you, the best thing for you to do – if this is something new that you’re going to do – is to put in a tankless water heater. Now, tankless is not available in electric; it’s only available in gas. So, if you were to put in a gas tankless water heater, you would need to install an above-ground or underground propane tank.
There’s one other option, though: that is a high-efficiency, electric heat pump water heater that is coming out right now. These cost a lot less to run than a traditional electric water heater and they do supply quite a bit of water but they’re not – it’s not an endless supply like a tankless is.
TOM: So those are your two options. If you stay with electric, you can go with a heat pump water heater or if you go with gas, you can go with a tankless, propane-fired water heater.
DAVID: So I guess there would be a matter of suitability for the gas tank and …
TOM: Yeah. And cost. You know, they’re both going to be a little bit more expensive than a standard electric water heater than you have right now but they’re going to be far more efficient.
DAVID: Do you have suggestions for finding the right type of unit or …?
TOM: Sure. Well, GE has one and also Rheem has one. Rheem has the HP-50, I believe it’s called, which is very good. So take a look online. These are brand new; they just came out this year. Before, it was almost impossible for you to get an energy-efficient electric water heater but with this heat pump technology, it really is efficient.
And something else to consider is that they’ll qualify you for the federal energy tax credit, so that can actually reduce the cost of the unit, as well.
DAVID: That’s good. OK. That’s very helpful and I appreciate your time with this.
TOM: You’re very welcome, David. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.