Installing an Energy Efficient Electric Water Heater
LESLIE: Now we’re going to Oregon to talk to Cathy. What’s happening at your money pit?
CATHY: Well, I heard you talking the other day about the tankless water heaters.
CATHY: And I thought I had heard something. We live out in the country …
CATHY: … and we have spring water.
CATHY: I had heard that they do not do well with the tankless water heaters. Do you know …
TOM: Mm, not true. Not true. Now I tell you …
TOM: … tankless is absolutely the way to go today. If you’re thinking about replacing your water heater, tankless is the hot ticket because it’s an on-demand system. It’s a little more expensive to install up front but it’s on-demand so that you’re always going to have plenty of hot water when you need to use it. Now, do you have gas in your house?
CATHY: No, we don’t.
TOM: What do you have?
CATHY: We have electricity.
TOM: Then I wouldn’t use a tankless because the electric tankless are not nearly as efficient or as effective as the gas-powered.
TOM: If I have electricity and not natural gas power, I’m going to install a high-efficiency electric water heater, one that has extra insulation on it, and I’m going to put that also on a timer so that it doesn’t run in the middle of the night when I don’t need it. Because the problem with a regular water heater is it’s sort of dumb. It runs 24/7/365 whether you need the hot water or not.
TOM: So I would use a high-efficiency electric. I would put it on a timer so that it can come on, you know, for a few hours before you get up in the morning; heat the water up; stay on through all the morning showers; then go off sort of midday; come on again, you know, 4:00-ish in the afternoon; stay on through the evening showers and supper and all of that and then go off in the middle of the night. Because you really only need to run that thing about half to maybe two-thirds of the number of hours in the day; not 24 hours a day.
CATHY: Well, that’s a great idea. Where do you install the timer?
TOM: Oh, it gets installed usually right near the water heater and an electrician can do it for you.
CATHY: I see.
TOM: OK, Cathy?
CATHY: Alright, thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.