How to Save Money on Gas Water Heaters

A tankless water heater could save money.

A tankless water heater could save money.

Sylvia Plath said that she didn’t know many things a hot bath wouldn’t cure, but before you can take that restorative bath, you have to have a water heater. The United States Department of Energy reports that gas water heaters are more efficient and cheaper to operate than electric water heaters, so you’ll save money by choosing a gas water heater. However, you can save even more money by choosing the right gas water heater.

Balance Cost With Efficiency

More efficient gas water heaters save you money, but they also cost more initially. To determine how much a water heater will cost to operate each year, consult the yellow Energy Guide tag on the appliance. Compare the amount of money you’re likely to save in operating cost with a more efficient model with the price difference between a less efficient and more efficient water heater and you can figure how long it will take you to recoup the additional cost of the more expensive machine through savings on utility bills.

Hunt For Rebates

If you’re replacing an old water heater with a new, more efficient model, you may be able to lower your cost by taking advantage of a rebate from your local government or utility. Some states also offer tax credits for installing more efficient water heaters. The Department of Energy maintains a website where you can check for rebates or tax credits in your area (See Resources).

Look for the Energy Star

If you’re replacing an old water heater with a new, more efficient model, you may be able to lower your cost by taking advantage of a rebate from your local government or utility. Some states also offer tax credits for installing more efficient water heaters. The Department of Energy maintains a website where you can check for rebates or tax credits in your area (See Resources).

Go Tankless

If you really want to up your efficiency, get rid of a water heater that stores water in a tank and replace it with a tankless system. Tankless gas water heaters use less space, don’t waste energy storing hot water and you can have hot water on demand. And if your idea of luxury is a long, hot shower, you won’t have to worry about running out of hot water with a tankless system. A tankless water heater can save you $70 to $80 a year over an efficient gas water heater with a storage tank. However, tankless systems are more expensive initially than tank systems. In 2008, Consumer Reports estimated it could take up to 22 years to earn back the cost difference.

About the Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.

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