Choosing an Efficient Water Heater for Your Home

November 4, 2021
Utility bills rising due to an inefficient water heater?

On average, water heating can account for up to 18% of your utility bill, making it the 2nd largest expense of your home. If your bill starts to rise you may feel tempted to take some common measures like turning down its thermostat or cutting your showers short to help save. But these measures can only help so much if your water heater has passed it’s life expectancy of 10-15 years. 

Are you ready to replace our water heater but don’t know where to start? Here we will discuss the most common options to choose from and criteria for making the best choice for your home.

Know Your Options

There are five types of water heaters to choose from according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):

Conventional Storage Water Heaters

The most common option, conventional water heaters use a tank or reservoir to store hot water, which is continuously reheated and ready on demand.  

Tankless Water Heaters

Deliver a constant supply of hot water, by heating on demand. Initial costs may be higher, but can save up to 34 percent more on utilities than conventional models.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Moves air from a warm place to heat water, instead of directly generating heat. Can be retrofitted to a conventional tank which can result in cost savings and high efficiencies.

Solar Water Heaters

These water heaters harness free energy by collecting the sun's heat. They require a backup source like standard electric or gas because solar heat is not continuously available.

Tankless Coil & Indirect Water Heaters

Uses the home’s climate control system (like a furnace) to heat water. These are ideal for colder climates where the furnace operates for half of the year or more.

Selection Criteria

So which type of water heater is best for your home? Your decision should depend on several variables, including:

Fuel Costs & Availability

If there is more than one fuel type available in your area it’s important to compare costs, including the cost of converting to a new fuel type.  This will affect your tank size and efficiency.


Your water heater should be appropriately sized for your home. If you choose an oversized unit you’re signing up for a higher purchase price and the cost of increased standby energy losses. 


It’s important to consider which option is the most cost effective by comparing both the installation fees and annual operating costs.

To better assist you in making this decision, the DOE offers a calculator for homeowners to compare traditional gas and electric options.  Additionally, you can review differences between water heater models on the Energy Star website.

Financing Your New Water Heater

Do the upfront costs associated with replacing your water heater make you want to hit pause on the project? With Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), you can finance 100% of energy efficiency and home safety projects, with zero upfront payments. 

Benefits of financing your project with PACE:

Looking to upgrade your water heater but want to avoid paying out of pocket? Give our experts a call at 844.736.3934 to see if PACE financing is right for you!

Important Disclosures

PACE financing is subject to approval. Underwriting requirements and restrictions apply. PACE financing is secured by a lien on the subject property and often required to be repaid upon refinance or sale. Homeowners are encouraged to use PACE financing responsibly. PACE financing is private financing that must be repaid in full. PACE financing is not a government subsidy. Renew Financial is a private company and not a government entity. The installation or construction of property improvements financed with a PACE assessment is provided through a home improvement contractor or other third-party provider, and not by Renew Financial or a government entity. Homeowners should perform due diligence before selecting a home improvement contractor. Financing provided in California through Department of Financial Innovation and Protection License No. 60DBO-90653.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Renew Financial makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Renew Financial is not a financial or home improvement advisor and information contained in this post should not be viewed as legal or financial advice.