Con: Best for houses that are only using water for one thing at a time (for example, not running the dishwasher at the same time you are showering). If you don’t run on natural gas, you might need to make an expensive electrical upgrade to make this work.
Heat Pump Water Heater: A hybrid water heater that is energy-efficient, but still contains a storage tank. Heat pumps transfer energy from surrounding air to the water to heat the water.
Con: Takes years to recoup costs. Requires back up water heater for when solar does not work.
Before making your decision, check out this table from smarterhouse.org to compare up-front costs and potential money saved over time:
Life-Cycle Costs for 13-Year Operation of Different Types of Water Heaters
(1) Costs are rough estimates, including installation, based on internal and other surveys. (2) Based on hot water needs for typical family of four and energy costs of 9.5¢/kWh for electricity, $1.40/therm for gas, and $2.40/gallon for oil.
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