Electric Water Heater vs. Tankless
LESLIE: Alright, we’re going to talk water heaters with Mark in Pennsylvania. What can we sort out for you?
MARK: We have a hot water tank. It’s operated by electric. The house is 20 years old. It’s the original water heater. So it’s about that time, probably, to change it …
LESLIE: It’s over that time.
MARK: Yes, way over that time. (Leslie chuckles) You’re absolutely (inaudible at 0:05:10.9). That and with noticing my current electric bill; you know, trying to save electric any way I can. I was actually thinking about going with the tankless water heater or water on demand, if that’s what it’s called.
TOM: Do you have gas in the house at all?
MARK: No gas at all. No.
TOM: No propane?
MARK: No propane, no.
TOM: Alright, then you cannot install a tankless electric water heater. They don’t work nearly as well as the gas water heater. You don’t have the efficiencies that you would with a gas tankless water heater. Your best bet, Mark, is to put in another electric water heater but with a couple of things different. First of all, I’d buy a high-efficiency electric water heater. They have more insulation on the jacket. Secondly, I would put in a timer because you don’t need to run the electric water heater 24/7. You can run it about 12 hours a day, strategically. You run it for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night. It’ll stay hot during the day and that’ll save you a lot of money as well. So, unfortunately, you can’t go tankless but you can do a more efficient job with the next electric water heater.
MARK: OK, perfect.
TOM: Mark, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.