Water heaters

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

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On-demand water heaters

Q.    I recently was in Home Depot and saw a water heater that hangs on the wall and heats on demand – it is a propane unit. I wonder about the efficiency of such a unit and how it compares to our 80-gallon electric water heater that heats during the off-peak times.

We have never run out of hot water but don’t use a lot at a time anyway. There are two of us in the household and we are away at work for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Also, our water is very hard and it runs through a softener. Does it make sense to consider this alternative to heating our hot water?

A.    On-demand water heaters are very efficient as water is only heated when you need it. They are very popular in Europe. What you need to consider is how long it would take you to recover its cost and its installation if your electric water heater is in good condition and operating on off-peak power. (I hope you also have your current water heater insulated.)

When your electric water heater is ready for replacement, it would be a very good time to consider installing an on-demand gas-fired water heater.

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