For years, water heater products changed very little, and there wasn’t even an ENERGY STAR category. Now, there are new technologies with substantial savings.
Water heaters. For most of us, the words bring up an image of a dusty, ugly tank hidden away in a closet or garage. We don’t even think about it. Time to change! Water heaters are now sleek and efficient, and they can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Water heating is the second-largest energy use in the home (after heating and cooling), and the typical American family spends more than $300 per year on heating water. With an ENERGY STAR product, you can save up to half of that amount.
Most regions of the country have a dominant type of water heater based on what was best when the homes were built. For example, 95% of single-family homes in California have natural gas units. Your best path to energy savings will depend on what you have now, and local energy costs. Get advice from your local contractor, as they will have seen the same situation many other homes.
If you have a natural gas line, consider a high-efficiency natural gas unit. It will heat and store water more efficiently than novel technologies. The extra cost will pay off in less than five years.
If space is a constraint, a tankless natural gas unit may be a good choice. These units just heat the water as it is needed, and avoid the space required by a storage tank. Tankless units have a number of limitations, so we prefer units with storage if possible.
If you have an electric water heater, get ready for a lot of savings with an electric heat pump water heater! This is one of the best home upgrade decisions you can make.