Tankless Water Heaters: Gas vs. Electric Efficiency
LESLIE: David in Delaware has a water heater question. What can we do for you?
DAVID: Yes, I have electric – total electric in my house and I heard about the tankless water heaters. But I was wondering whether or not electric would be very efficient.
TOM: Actually not, David, because gas tankless water heaters are fantastically efficient; electric tankless water heaters, not so much. So if you have electric, what we would recommend is a super-insulated tank-style water heater. There are different manufacturers that have this type of model. I think Rheem has one called Marathon, if I remember correctly, that has a very thick wall of insulation. That, coupled with a water heater timer so it only comes on …
LESLIE: When you need it.
TOM: … when you actually need it would be the best way to cut your electric water-heating costs. Gas is fantastic for tankless but not electric, because you just can’t deliver enough power to do the job.
DAVID: Where would you get the timers?
TOM: Well, the timers are available at any electrical supply store or home center. You just want a 240-volt timer.
DAVID: OK. Very good.
TOM: Usually gets installed right near the water heater and you want to set it to come on for a few hours in the morning when you need it for showers and that sort of thing; few hours in the afternoon and evening; then it can go off for the rest of the time. The water will stay warm in the water heater. As long as you’re not using a lot of it you’ll be good to go.
DAVID: Very good.