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Electric vs. Propane Gas Water Heaters

Choosing the Most Efficient Water Heating Unit

water heater options maineDid you ever stop to think that your water heater is one of the hardest working pieces of equipment in your home? You certainly don’t want to spend too much time without a hot water heater, so if you suspect trouble may be looming, it’s best to replace it before it completely fails.

If your existing unit is more than 10 years old, and it doesn’t seem to be performing as well as it once did, it’s time to start considering your options. Since heating water accounts for between close to 20% of your energy costs, choosing an efficient model is one of the most important considerations. But, in addition to efficiency, you need to consider what’s powering that equipment. Some forms of energy are more efficient than others when it comes to heating water:

Electric Powered Water Heaters

There’s only one option if you want a high-efficiency electric water heater. The only type of electric water heater certified by Energy Star is a hybrid type water heater. They’re more expensive to buy and install, and they aren’t ideal for Maine’s long cold winters and short summers.

Since they pull heat from the surrounding air, they’ll have to work a lot harder here specifically, which will end up costing you more money in return. They also need a lot of space around them, and need to be in an area of your home with a consistent temperature between 40 and 90 degrees. Really, the only reason to go with an electric heat pump model in Southern Maine is if you don’t have access to propane or gas.

Propane Powered Water Heaters

If you want choices that cater to your specific needs—and budget—propane is the way to go! Propane generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. For example, propane water heaters generate much more hot water at a cheaper cost per gallon. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that heat water with propane rather than electricity can see average annual savings of $174 or higher.

And with propane, you can choose from more types of water heaters, without sacrificing efficiency. For example:

What are the Benefits of Going Tankless?

While tankless models can be more expensive up-front, all that efficiency means you’ll lowering your energy costs by as much as 40%. Because there’s no need for a large tank, they don’t require much space—in fact—it’s considerably less room than a 55-gallon tank. Most are about the size of a suitcase. They can also be wall-mounted, which means a tankless water heater can be placed just about anywhere in the house, including closets and crawl spaces.

Finally, they are a good investment. The primary culprit in the limited lifespan of a conventional water heater is the corrosive water stored in its tank. Because it doesn’t store water, a tankless water heater will last 18 to 20 years, which is nearly twice as long as a traditional tank-type unit.

If you’ve decided a propane water heater is the best choice for you, the pros at PitStop Propane and Fuels have the experience and knowledge to help you select the right size and type of water heater for your home. We offer top-quality models from reliable name brands like Rinnai that help you maximize energy efficiency when heating your water—and can help you save with generous rebates. Contact us for more information or to get started today.