Water Heating Solutions

Looking to replace your water heater? Here’s some information to help you decide which is best for you.

Here are five common types of water heaters (click an image for more information):

Heat Pump Water Heater

Uses heat from the room and/or electricity to heat a tank of water.

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heatpump-water-heater
Advantages

  • Initial cost may be the lowest (with available incentives).
  • Ownership may be the cheapest (saves a four-person household $330/year*)
  • Warranty is typically 10+ years
  • Need for dehumidification is reduced.**
  • ENERGY STAR rated
Disadvantages

  • Requires open room with 6’ or greater ceiling
  • Requires condensate drain
  • Reduced savings if in heated space
  • Air filter needs periodic rinsing
  • As loud as a dehumidifier

*Source: energystar.gov accessed 5/1/16
**Heat-pump water heaters complement but do not replace dehumidifiers, because they operate based on hot-water demand instead of humidity levels.

Electric Water Heater

Uses electric resistive elements to heat water.

electric-water-heater
Advantages

  • Low upfront cost
  • Short “lowboy” versions available
  • No combustion
Disadvantages

  • High operating cost
  • Typically shorter warranties
  • Not ENERGY STAR

Gas Water Heater

Uses propane or natural gas. Can have a tank or be tankless.
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gas-water-heater
Advantages

  • Low operating cost (natural gas models at current rates)
  • Endless hot water (tankless models)
  • ENERGY STAR rated
Disadvantages

  • Requires exhaust venting
  • High operating cost (propane models at current rates)
  • May not work with low-flow fixtures (some tankless models)

Tankless Coil Water Heater

Built into an oil boiler. It has no visible tank.

tankless-coil-heater
Advantages

  • Lasts as long as the boiler
  • Takes up no additional space
Disadvantages

  • The least efficient water heating system
  • Boiler must stay hot all year long
  • Can cause boiler to “short cycle” which minimizes efficiency
  • Not ENERGY STAR

Solar Water Heater

Typically panels on roof plumbed to tank in basement with some backup.

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solar-water-heater
Advantages

Disadvantages

  • High installation cost
  • Requires backup
  • Requires solar exposure

Click here for our Guide to Water Heating.