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The Top 2 Water Heaters You Should Consider for Your Home

Posted by Scott Ranck on Sep 9, 2014 12:05:33 PM

In this article I am going to compare the best water heaters for Floridians. I also will approach this as a building scientist, not a salesman. FPU owns and operates both electric and natural gas divisions so I believe I can be objective.
The 3 issues I will consider are:
  1. Initial cost
  2. Cost of use
  3. Performance factor
Comparision of a Natural Gas Tankless and an Electric Hybrid
Both products will be viewed from the perspective that you are simply changing a lesser efficient unit to upgrading with the fuels already present. In other words, an electric to an electric and a natural gas to natural gas upgrade.
1)  Initial Cost:
  • I advise shopping both contractors and product costs but the initial cost of both products and installation are similar on these two units.

  • The electric unit is some what higher in price for the product but the installation cost is somewhat lower.

  • Consumers can expect the initial cost to be comparable between the two units.

2)  Cost of Use:
  • Using current rates of fuel charges, efficiency of equipment and a math formula, the cost of fuels per million btus (the way different fuels are compared) there is a slight advantage going to the natural gas product.

  • The difference in fuel is nearly half the cost of a standard tank water heater of either type, compared to the higher efficiency units of either. So, operating costs on these two units are nearly equal as well.

3)  Performance Factor:
  • The natural gas unit sits idle unless a hot water tap is opened.

  • The electric unit uses the more efficient “heat pump” unit that is mounted atop the standard electric tank during standby.

  • The electric unit only can recover 22 gallons of hot water an hour. This means you will run out of hot water as easily with this unit as with any electric tank.

  • Natural Gas has absolutely no standby loss and continuous hot water. You can take 10 showers in a row or fill a 50, 60 or even 100-gallon tub and never run out. As long as you have gas and water you can have hot water.

I asked a General Electric Representative which unit he preferred for his own home. He said, “If natural gas is available my first choice will be the gas tankless, if gas is not available, the Hybrid".
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Topics: Energy Conservation

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