Hot Water Heaters
High-Efficiency Water Heaters
Getting to Know Your Hot Water Heater
The most popular type of water heater for residential use is a storage (tank) water heater, which combines a gas burner with an insulated tank to store hot water. A storage water heater works by taking cold water from the home’s water supply and moving it to the bottom of the tank where it s heated by a gas burner controlled by a thermostat. Since hot water is lighter than cold water, the heated water rises to the top of the tank where a delivery pipe sends it where it is needed.
- Lower initial cost
- Easy and inexpensive to replace
- Higher utility bill from heating and reheating water to maintain temperature
- Can run out of hot water. If you’ve ever been the last person in your family to take a shower, you’ve experienced the downside of tank water heaters
- Shorter life, 10-15 years
Tankless water heaters use a heat source to warm up cold water on-demand as you need it.
- More efficient – on average a tankless water heater uses 24-34% less energy than tanked heaters
- Smaller, take up less space in your home
- Longer life, 20+ years
- Delivers hot water on demand – which means you never run out
- Higher initial cost
- Replacing a traditional water heater with a tankless heater can be more complicated and installation costs can be high
Water heaters are the second largest energy users in a home, next to the heating and cooling system. On average, natural gas water heaters cost less to operate than electric water heaters, and can heat water twice as fast. In fact, according to the American Gas Association, consumers can enjoy two bathtubs full of water with natural gas for the same cost of a single tub full of water heated with electricity.