Electric Tankless Water Heater: Worth the Cost?
LESLIE: Angela in Utah, you’re next on The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
ANGELA: Yes, ma’am. I was just calling to find out if it’s basically worth the money to get a tankless water heater.
LESLIE: Well, what type of system do you have right now? Is it gas? Is it electric?
TOM: And do you have the ability to go gas? Or to go propane?
ANGELA: No, no. I don’t want to go gas …
ANGELA: … or propane.
TOM: Well then, you have to rule out a tankless water heater. Because they’re – they may be available electric but they’re certainly not very efficient. What I would recommend – because right now you have an electric water heater – you should install a 240-volt timer on that water heater. And[what that can be done] (ph) is set it so that the water heater only comes on for a few hours in the evening and a few hours in the morning and just – the water will just stay hot in between. Also, put a water heater blanket on there. Tankless water heaters are fabulous if you have a natural gas hookup for your house, but they’re not efficient when it comes to electric.
ANGELA: OK. So if I wanted to do that, I would have to hook up the gas lines and everything?
TOM: Yeah, and you know …
LESLIE: Well, it’s going to keep your cost down overall anyway …
TOM: Oh, it absolutely will.
LESLIE: … just switching over to gas. Because electric is so expensive, regardless of what the price of natural heating is.
TOM: Yeah, and I’ll tell you, in my area, I had – my house was on oil for many years and then we decided to abandon the oil tank. And I was surprised and I found out that the gas company was more than happy to run a gas line to my house and put in a meter at no cost as long as I agreed to hook up one gas appliance, which – the thing we started with was a gas grill. And then we added on from there. So as long as you agree to put a gas appliance in, you may have the installation done at little or no cost.
If you have gas, a tankless water heater is a fabulous thing to do because although it is more expensive to purchase and install, it’s far, far, far more efficient to use. You’ll save a lot of money over time. In fact, there’s a good website – ForeverHotWater.com – that has a comparison meter there where you can put in your local zip code and it’ll tell you exactly how much gas you’ll save over the life of the unit.
ANGELA: Alright. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Angela. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.