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Water Heaters

Lots and lots of hot water – fast.

The next time you need to replace your water heater, replace it with a high-efficiency tank or tankless model. If you already have a natural gas water heater, you know about comfort and savings. But with a high-efficiency model, you’ll save even more. A natural gas tank water heater heats water for nearly half as much as an electric model.

Condensing hot water heaters are the most energy efficient and thus cost less to operate. In simplest terms, a condensing hot water heater recaptures the heat of the flue gases that normally just get vented out so less heat is lost out of the tank.

Types of water heaters

While there are literally hundreds of models available, water heaters come in two basic styles:

Tank style

This is the most common type of water heater currently in the U.S. Tank water heaters store hot water on a standby basis, heating and reheating the same water so it will be ready for you. The tank size typically ranges from 40 gallons to 100 gallons depending on the hot water demand.

Tankless style

Already popular in Asia and Europe, tankless water heaters are becoming more widespread in the U.S. because they provide endless hot water, take up less space and save energy. Unlike tank-style water heaters that heat water in a storage tank, tankless water heaters heat water only when you need it.

 When you turn on the hot water tap, a sensor tells the tankless water heater to fire up and start heating water as it flows through the unit. That is why they are sometimes referred to as “on-demand” water heaters. When you turn off the hot water tap, the tankless hot water heater turns off as well. The advantage over tank-style water heaters is that they are not continuously heating and reheating the same water. Water is only heated when it is needed, thus saving money and energy. Plus you never run out of hot water!

In general, tankless water heaters cost more than a tank model to purchase and install. However, the energy saved typically results in paybacks of a few years or less for a family of four. Tankless hot water heaters also last twice as long as a tank model, up to 20 years, and they take up less space in your home. Tankless water heating improves the quality of your family’s life by giving you all the hot water you need when you need it.