Budget Water Heater efficiency upgrades - What works best?

A client of mine opted out of replacing his 20 year old tank style water heater with a Takagi TK3 instantaneous water heater because of the high price and wants to replace it with something of the same configuration that is not too pricey.


That puts the 95% efficient models out of the running. My question to you pros is, what is a good upgrade for a tank style water heater that is more efficient than the existing unit but is not too much more expensive than a home depot special. Also, since federal funds to create jobs will be involved, I would prefer to use a US built unit.

Views: 285

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's hard to get decent efficiency from typical gas storage heaters. Ruud has some models with powered dampers that have energy factors around .67 or .68. I'm not sure where they're built. American Water Heaters are a made-in-USA brand.


If you can use an electric unit, it's easy to get a .93 to .94 energy factor.



Before you consider other options -does your client fully understand operating costs?  The link above may help you find out what will truly be the less expensive replacement.


But conservation first...

1. turn down the t-stat to 120 degrees.

2. replace showerheads with Niagra 2.0 showerheads.

3. recommend using cold water laundry detergent.


That is all good stuff. However, I'm still looking for a model that will be more efficient than the average unit and get credit for the energy upgrade california program as an upgrade. Anybody else have a recommendation?

My local plumbing supply store just recommended  a Promax GNR 40 in the $500 range wholesale as a good choice. At a .62 energy factor it seems pretty inefficient.

I'd love to know what other Energy Upgrade California contractors are using as an upgrade for old tank style water heaters that will yield energy savings, ease of installation (no piping size upgrades and venting hassles) and program $s.

I disagree a bit with your premise.  Try the Paloma (I use Low Energy Systems). at about 94%.    Most of this stuff qualifies for reasonable tax deductions plus (often) stuff from your local authorities.  Plus the Paloma is seriously safe.

The big question is just how much hot water is being used.  I have a Takagi in a rental (think lots of showers and tubs) and wouldn't have anything else.  In my home I have a small well insulated electric because I don't use a lot.



The best solution for a single person or so is the toggle switch on the circuit breaker. Turn on the tank forty five minutes before ya need some hot water. Shut it off BEFORE ya turn on the water . Do your shower, dishes, whatever.


Once one accustoms herself to this process, wisdom sets in, usage drops, consolidation of DHW needs dispels waste like nothing else, and one benefits enormously from having tiny utility bills and a deeper sense of autonomy and consummate victory over stand-by loss, the hobgoblin of the small households' energy consumption.


I dropped to 132 KWH/month for all household consumption (not including laundry) with toggle tactic 101. TIME is the just the market place where matter and energy swap value. Own it. It matters!


Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconDenise Cooper, Maren Cooke, Steven Antonini and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
20 minutes ago
Crosbey Archery joined Allison A. Bailes III's group


HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
7 hours ago
Crosbey Archery commented on Ottawa Furnace Filters's blog post Some Useful Information about Furnace Air Filters
"This post is really helpful especially to those homeowners who are still confused on what to…"
8 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted videos
17 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion

Incentives & financing options for home energy upgrades

Energy.gov has a useful database of incentives and financing options for home energy efficiency…See More
19 hours ago
George Kopf commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post My Fall Into The Smart Home, Lazy Life
"Matt, Another way of looking at this is that by freeing up my time/brain power, I can give more…"
21 hours ago
Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post was featured

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More
23 hours ago
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service