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People ask me all the time if upgrading to a tankless water heater is a smart thing to do. After all, they are promoted as an energy saving appliance.
The average gas-powered tankless water heater can indeed save you money because they use less gas than a traditional tank water heater. They do not use any gas when you are not at home or when no hot water is in demand. A traditional tank uses gas around the clock to keep the water hot.
According to SDG&E the average home spends about $300/year to heat water. A gas tankless water heater can reduce gas usage by about 23%, or $70 - $80 per year.
The cost of a good tankless water heater can be $1,100 - $2,500 installed. Sometimes more. Installation can require a new flue, rerouting water pipes (if you relocate the unit to the exterior), and possibly running a new gas line. Since tankless water heaters demand a lot of gas to heat water quickly, you may need to increase the gas pipe from 1/2" to 3/4". Finally, tankless wate ...
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