Are Energy Star Water Heaters Worth It?

How to Choose Energy-Saving Water Heaters

Have you been considering Energy Star water heaters? With the ever-increasing costs of utilities, many homeowners are looking for ways to save on their energy bills. One way to do this is to invest in an energy-saving water heater. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new water heater though, so that you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to choose an energy-saving water heater for your home. We will also share how you can potentially get the IRS tax credit when you upgrade your water heater to an Energy Star unit. 

How Do I Know When to Replace My Water Heater?

If your water heater is over 10 years old, then it is probably safe to say it’s time to upgrade. Not only will your new water heater work more efficiently, it will also consume much less energy. These water heater upgrades usually end up paying for themselves and then some, so it is possible that it’s costing you more money NOT to replace your unit. While some units can last 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years, you may start to get lower water temperatures or pressures, frequent pilot extinguishment, or other issues with your older heater. Replacing your water heater adds value to your home and improves your quality of everyday life. 


What Type of Water Heater Should I Buy?

The 2 main types of water heaters are gas and electric. Each of these 2 types have several options such as storage tank or tankless/instantaneous. Depending on how your home is set up, you may or may not have a choice in which type you install. Each type of water heater has its pros and cons, but as long as you choose an Energy Star Certified water heater, you can save money! Ask your technician to help figure out which is best for your needs and existing home hookups.

Even though an electric Energy Saving water heater may save more money on electric bills, trying to convert your hookups from gas to electric can be a lot more costly. If your old tank was gas, you will most likely want to stick with gas. The same goes for electric hookups. Deciding whether or not to go with a storage tank or tankless, is more of a personal and financial decision as tankless can be much more expensive upfront.  


What Size Water Heater Should I Get?

Determine the type of water heater that best suits your needs. How big is your house, and how many people will typically be using hot water in a day? This will help you decide what capacity your new water heater will need to be. Water heaters with tank storage usually come in 40, 50 or 75 gallon sizes. However, you may see sizes a s small as 23-gallons, or as big as 120 gallons. 

Getting a water heater that is too small, (although less expensive) can leave you without enough hot water to finish your hot shower or warm water chores. Getting a water heater that is too big, can waste energy as it heats much more water than you need and use. For an average family of 4, a 40-50 gallon tank is usually the best option. 

A tankless water heater can heat anywhere from 2-12 gallons of water per minute (gpm) on average. Depending on how you use them and which type you get, you will see increased limits in the output. A bigger unit will obviously cost more to operate, but it will also heat more water more quickly. If you have a large family or entertain often, you’ll want to make sure you get a unit that can handle the demand. 

There are many options for storage tank water heaters as well as tankless, the most important thing to look for is the Certified Energy Star logo. This way you know you will be getting the most energy saving and efficient unit available no matter which type you select. 


Are All Energy Star Water Heaters The Same?

Make sure to compare efficiency ratings. When it comes to energy-saving appliances, not all units are created equal. Be sure to compare the efficiency ratings of different models before making your final decision. The higher the rating, the more money you’ll save on your energy bills each month. Oftentimes these units save so much that they pay for themselves in just 2 years or less on the energy bill savings. Now with the IRS rebate, you can save even more!


How Can I Get A Rebate or Tax Credit?

Checking for rebates and tax credits can be daunting. Many local and state governments offer rebates or tax credits for purchasing energy-efficient appliances like water heaters. Doing a little research beforehand could save you hundreds of dollars on the purchase price of your new unit. If you aren’t sure where to start, or how to ensure you select a qualifying unit, then call our team at (717) 768-3276. JG Graybill has a special savings code for our customers and is happy to answer all of your water heater questions.


Can I Install a Water Heater by Myself?

You may be wondering if you can install your new water heater yourself. The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can install your unit yourself, but this means you need to go to the store and buy the unit, remove and haul away the old unit, do the research ahead of time to figure out which unit will qualify for the IRS tax credit, buy the tools and parts necessary for installation (hoses, wrenches, brackets etc), and watch hours of youtube videos on how to do it. 

When you call professionals for an estimate, you are getting the price of everything including the unit, the removal and haul away of the old unit, disposal of the old unit, and delivery and installation of the new unit. If you consider the cost of just the labor, you will see it is not worth DIY-ing this project in most cases. One other factor to consider when deciding whether or not to do it yourself, is the warranty. When a professional installs your unit, there is usually a warranty and you will have someone to come repair or replace any issues. A professional will have your new water heater in quickly and properly. 


How Much Can I Save With Energy Star Water Heaters?

Depending on how much you use your Energy Star hot water heater, you can save approximately $470 per year on electric bills compared to a standard electric water heater, and more than $4,500 over its lifetime. Among the electric units, a Certified Electric Energy Star unit uses different technology and can use up to 50% less energy! The IRS tax rebate can provide you with an additional 22%, or $2000 credit which means many of these units almost pay for themselves completely when you figure in all of your savings.  


Getting Your New Energy Star Water Heater

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your monthly utility bills, investing in an energy-saving water heater is a great place to start. By following the tips outlined above, you can be sure you’re choosing the best possible unit for your needs and budget. And once it’s installed, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re doing your part to save energy and conserve resources. For help in selecting an IRS tax credit qualifying unit, call or contact JG Graybill today. We help you select the right water heater for your home and needs, and get it installed in no time.