3 Energy-Efficient Water Heaters You Should Consider for Your Home

As I’ve mentioned before, old tank style electrical water heaters can be one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home. So this week I am happy to publish this guest post giving you an overview of the pros and cons of three more energy efficient water heaters.

Water heaters usually have a lifetime of 10-12 years. If your water heating system is beyond its lifespan it may be time to consider replacing it. Of course, water heaters that are damaged or have become too dysfunctional to be used should also be renewed. With the wide variety of options for water heaters it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. After all, the unit you’re going to buy should fit with the current needs of your home.

Installing energy-efficient water heating systems obviously means saving money on your electricity/energy costs  over time. Generally, energy-saving water heaters have higher upfront costs, but they make up for it in the long run. We will take look at the most energy-efficient water heaters that you can purchase today and tackle their benefits as well as their shortcomings.

Tankless Water Heaters

This is probably the most popular water heater right now. It has on-demand technology which means it will only use energy if you’re using hot water. Tankless systems aren’t like storage tank-types which require the water supply to be heated 24/7. Another benefit of using a tankless water heater is that you don’t have to worry about replacing it for a long period of time. Tankless systems have a lifespan of 20 years which is higher than your average unit which only lasts up to 10-12 years.

So what’s the problem with installing this type? Apart from being expensive just like any other modern and energy-efficient unit, tankless systems may have additional installation costs. If you’re switching to a tankless water heater from a standard unit then you need to have your plumbing retrofitted so that it can accommodate the tankless system — adding hassle and expenses. It’s also more advantageous if you use natural gas as fuel since using electricity requires an electrical capacity upgrade of your house.

Heat pump water heaters

Three energy efficient water heating systems figure 2 - heat pump | Sustainable Suburbia

Heat pump heating systems or also known as hybrid water heaters have a unique way of heating water. They draw in the heat from the air and then use it to keep the water supply warm. Heat pump water heaters can only run through the use of electricity but are still far more energy-efficient than a standard electrical water heater.

This water heater is also one of the most eco-friendly since it doesn’t produce any gas emissions. You have the option to set-up a heat pump heating system on the ground, roof, etc. Its lifespan can reach up to 15+ years.

Amongst the problem of heat pump water heaters is the installation. You need to have at least 2.13 metres of height clearance starting from the floor to the ceiling. Furthermore, you need to have an allowance of 1,000 cubic feet of warm area near the unit in order to get sufficient heat. Lastly, heat pumps also have one of the highest initial costs for water heaters.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar hot water systems pros and cons - 3 energy efficient hot water heaters | Sustainable Suburbia

Obviously, this water heater uses solar energy as its fuel source. A great thing about solar energy is that not only is it free; it’s also a renewable form of energy, further reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, as well as emissions. The return of investment is between 5-10 years which is fast compared to other heating systems. Maintaining a solar water heater doesn’t require a lot of effort or expenses.

You’re at a great advantage if you’re located somewhere that has sunny weather for most of the year. However, you won’t be getting the most out of your solar water heater if you live in a place with long winters. Although there are units that can be used for cloudy or winter weather; they won’t absorb enough sunlight to fully utilise the solar water heating system.

Katie Jones is the writer and editor of DrDRiP Plumbing. She enjoys writing articles that tackle about home improvement, plumbing guides, and energy-saving tips — and sharing them to anyone who will find these topics beneficial.

  14 comments for “3 Energy-Efficient Water Heaters You Should Consider for Your Home

  1. February 20, 2017 at 11:47 am

    We live in Texas and I am interested in solar water heater. Do you know if you need some sort of insulated storage tank to hold the heated water?

    Thank you!

    • April 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Marc,
      If you install a purpose build solar hot water heater I am sure this will be included, however, if you are planning to do it in a DIY kinda way, then yes, you would need an insulated tank.

  2. Ben
    May 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    This is great. I am planning to replace my water heater soon.

    • June 23, 2017 at 3:25 am

      Same here. My water heater recently started having issues. Is getting close to 10 years old so I know it will soon be needing replacing.

  3. July 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Great post. This helps us choose the best Energy-Efficient Water Heaters for our home.

  4. Jeff Babcock
    September 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Hello, Wow! You have shared such a nice post. I am interested for this solar water heater. I am really liking this post. I am eager to know more benefits. After reading your post, I am planning to change my water heater. Thanks for this lovely post.

  5. Tristan Chua
    September 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Solar energy sure is a great deal in saving energy and ofcourse money! Haven’t tried yet solar water heater but will definitely do thanks to your advice. Keep up the great work!

  6. Upgrade Your Water Heating
    September 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Good article! I am a big fan of solar heating. Why not use the free energy that is all around?

  7. November 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

    thank’s for such nice post

    can get tankless hot water systems in both electric and gas/propane. So there is a choice if your house does not have wiring for 220V, then you have propane or gas option which is cheaper and more efficient anyway than electric systems.
    The solar hot water system can be used in conjunction with a tankless system but you still need a large tank to hold the pre-heated hot water on most all solar hot water systems.

  8. November 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I would prefer solar water heaters because it uses solar energy as it’s fuel source. And solar can never run out. So my home heating system will always be in a good shape. And I will he happy.

  9. Geoff
    April 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I recently upgraded from an electric tank hot water system to heat pump, and I am very impressed. Tracking our electricity use, we have reduced the electricity used for the hot water system by over 80%. Previously, my tank host water system was accounting for about 50% of our entire electricity use.

  10. May 4, 2018 at 1:26 am

    My water heater gets Deteriorating every two or three months. I am planning to replace it soon. By the way great article Kirsten

  11. August 17, 2018 at 2:35 am

    i am facing some problems with my current water heater. i’m planning to change my water heater and i’m very interested in solar water heater, very glad to know that from your article. i’ll really recommend this article to my friends.

  12. August 31, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Great article Kirsten!! The article is very informative and very clear concept. I actually like electric tankless water heater. Can you pls tell me the cons of Solar Water Heaters. You little bit mention in your article but I want to know in details. Thanks.

Comments are closed.