So you’ve decided to go tankless. Now what?
First, you’re going to need to choose either an electric or natural gas model.
Major differences exist between them even beyond the potential cost of rewiring your house as mentioned earlier.
Electric tankless heaters are 99 percent efficient. However, they don't qualify for rebates or an Energy Star rating, which requires a product improve energy output 14 percent over older models.
The worst traditional electric heaters are 93 percent efficient.
Tankless water heaters that use natural gas are about 23 percent more efficient than a traditional storage version, which is about 60 percent efficient, according to the Department of Energy.
Most gas-powered tankless water heaters do qualify for a $300 federal tax rebate. Many states offer similar incentives.
Steele started her tankless water heater business in Florida after watching her own electricity bills decline thanks to the switch.
"I've been in business almost five years," she says. "No one has said, 'I'm not saving any money.'"
Editor's Note: CityOfHarrington writer Jason Hargraves contributed to this article, which is an updated version of a story originally published on May 28, 2009.
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