High-Tech Water Heating Systems

shower-head-300x200Heating water costs the average American family about $400 to $600 a year. That’s the second largest utility expense after heating and cooling. When deciding whether to upgrade to a more efficient water heater, take into account the fuel type, the amount of hot water needed, the age of your existing equipment, and the availability of an appropriate location for the equipment.

What you should know

Heat pump water heaters have a storage tank and run on electricity. Instead of applying heat directly to the water, these systems move heat from outside to inside the tank using a refrigerant circulated in tubing between two coils—somewhat like a refrigerator running in reverse. They can be more expensive, but are highly efficient.

Storage water heaters are most common. They consist of an insulated tank of water heated either by natural gas or electricity to a sufficient temperature. The heated water then flows through pipes to wherever it is needed in the home. Installation cost is low, and newer water heaters are better insulated and more efficient.

Tankless water heaters, sometimes called “on-demand” or simply “demand” water heaters, are a newer trend and run on  natural gas. These systems heat water as needed when you turn on the hot-water faucet. Tankless systems cost more to install than their storage counterparts, but are more efficient and take up less space.

Cost and lifetime value


Benefits and Drawbacks

System Benefits Drawbacks

Electric Heat Pump

  • Most efficient

    Rebates often available

  • High installation cost

Natural Gas Storage

  • Low to moderate installation cost

  • Carbon Monoxide risk

  • Standby heat loss (keeps water hot even when not needed - see back of this sheet for more information)

Electric Storage

  • Low installation cost

  • Standby heat loss

Natural Gas Tankless

  • High efficiency
  • On demand hot water
  • Small footprint
  • High installation cost

Get Started

Thinking of starting a project? The first step is to schedule a phone consultation with an Enhabit Home Advisor to find opportunities to improve the efficiency, safety and health of your home.

Book a Free Phone Consult