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:
Heat Pump Water Heater
Uses heat from the room and/or electricity to heat a tank of water.
- Can save more than $3,000 over the life of the unit compared to electric water heaters.*
- Typically have 10+ year warranties.
- Dehumidify the space they are in.**
- Require open room with 6’ or greater ceiling
- Require condensate drain
- Reduced savings if in heated space
- Air filter needs periodic rinsing
- As loud as a dehumidifier
** 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 resistance elements to heat water.
- Low upfront cost
- Short “lowboy” versions available
- No combustion
- High operating cost
- Typically shorter warranties
- Not ENERGY STAR®
Gas Water Heater
Uses propane or natural gas. Can have a tank or be tankless.
- Low operating cost (natural gas models at current rates)
- Endless hot water (tankless models)
- ENERGY STAR® rated
- 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.
- Lasts as long as the boiler
- Takes up no additional space
- 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.
- High installation cost
- Requires backup
- Requires solar exposure
Click here for our Guide to Water Heating.
Click here for our Heat Pump Water Heater Myths and Facts sheet.