Tankless and Solar Water Heaters: Are They Right for You?

For many years, you had two basic choices when it came to water heaters? Gas or electric. In recent years, two new advancements in water heater technology have come on the scene: tankless (also known as on-demand) and solar water heaters.

Both these new technologies have been spurred by interest in creating greener, more energy efficient water heaters. Because a tankless water heater doesn’t store water, it doesn’t have to keep the water at a certain temperature, or reheat it constantly while it’s in the tank waiting to be used. However, if you’re considering a tankless water heater, you should know that they are quite a bit more expensive than traditional water heaters. While they are more energy efficient, it’s unlikely that the efficiency savings will add up to the difference in cost over the life of the unit.

That said, if you are serious energy conservationist, and your main reason for wanting a tankless is simply to use less energy, it might be worth it to you. Also, a big benefit of tankless water heaters is that they really do heat water "on demand,” so you’ll never again face the uncomfortable experience of running out of hot water in the middle of a shower.

Solar water heaters are another exciting new technology that might make sense in sunny Arizona, but might not pay off as you would hope here in the Ohio Valley. A solar water heater is not intended to entirely replace a traditional gas or electric water heater. Instead, a solar water heater is made to supplement your hot water usage with water heated naturally in solar panels mounted on your roof. Solar water heaters can dramatically reduce the energy cost of heating water, but they won’t eliminate it.

Do you have questions about upgrading your water heater to a more advanced type? Call Dauenhauer, any hour. We’ll help you calculate the replacement or installation cost and compare it against your potential energy savings to see if it makes sense for you.