Green HomebuildingHome & Garden

How To Choose The Most Energy Efficient Water Heater

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By Randy

Have you been trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge and go tankless?

Here's why you should use an energy efficient water heater

You’re not the only one testing the waters. Tankless, or “on-demand“, water heater sales are H O T. But there are a few alternatives to the methods in which you choose to heat your water and the most cost effective method ultimately depends on your household usage habits and your current budget limitations (not to mention your conscience).

Below you’ll find critical consumer information regarding the method in which you choose to heat your water. We aim to please here at The Fun Times Guide To HomeBuilding.

Read on my fellow citizen consumers…

Facts and Figures about Heating Your Water

Did you know that 15%-25% of your home’s energy use goes to heating your water. That’s typically #2 in energy usage, #1 being your HVAC system.

The typical U.S. homeowner’s water consumption, by place of use (based on national averages) is as follows:

    • 37% shower


    • 26% clothes washer


    • 14% dishwasher


    • 12% bath


  • 11% sinks


There is no arguing with the “in your face” energy savings information found at the Energy Star website regarding the cost comparisons of:

  • High Efficiency Hot Water Tank Heaters
  • On-Demand Tankless Hot Water Heaters using Gas or Electricity
  • Heat Pump type Water Heaters
  • Solar Energy Water Heaters with Electric Back-Up


Links To Targeted Information Regarding Energy Efficient Water Heaters

The ACEEE link below explains the different types of water heaters, water heater efficiency, suggestions on upgrading your existing water heater, selecting a new water heater and comparing the true costs of water heaters.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE.

Go to the Consumers’ Directory of Certified Efficiency Ratings for Water Heating Equipment if you have specific product model information and want to know the efficiency level. It’s made available by the Gas Appliance Manufacturer’s Association, or GAMA.

I know you’ll want information about the most energy-efficient water heaters sorted by efficiency level performance. I know I would want to know if I were in the market for a water heater.

“Tax Credit Eligible EquipmentThe Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides federal income tax credits to consumers who purchase a qualifying replacement furnace, boiler or water heater. The qualified equipment must be purchased no earlier than January 1, 2006, and no later than December 31, 2007.

Furnaces, 95% AFUE or Greater ($150 Tax Credit)
Boilers, 95% AFUE or Greater ($150 Tax Credit)
Electrically Efficient Gas- and Oil-Fired Furnaces ($50 Tax Credit)
Gas- and Oil-Fired Water Heaters, .80 Energy Factor or Greater ($300 Tax Credit)
Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters, 2.0 Energy Factor or Greater $300 Tax Credit)”

Source: GAMA

Wanna know more about other energy tax credit qualifying appliances and components?

There is much information to be absorbed here so consider yourself a sponge and soak it up.