There are few things worse than stepping into a warm shower this time of year, only to have it get cold halfway through your soak. That's one sign that it's time for a new water heater. But that's not the only reason to upgrade. New water heater models can be up to 94 percent more efficient than standard water heaters and can save as much as $100 annually when compared with a standard 50-gallon gas water heater. Here are some now on the market.
The Rheem EcoSense 8.4 GPM 157,000 BTU Ultra Low-NOx Natural Gas High Efficiency Outdoor Tankless Water Heater heats water only when needed, so it saves energy compared with most natural gas tank water heaters. It's Energy Star qualified for enhanced energy and cost savings. Note that it is an outdoor unit. ($1,300, homedepot.com)
If you've got a cottage, a small home or a cabin, the Eccotemp FVI-12-NG High Capacity Gas Tankless Water Heater will be just the right size to heat up a shower or bath. It's designed for small-to-medium hot water production when you need more than one application at once. It delivers up to 3.4 gallons per minute. ($269, ecodirect.com)
The Energy Star-rated GE Geospring 50-Gallon 10-Year Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater provides the same hot water as a traditional water heater containing 65 gallons. Local, federal and utility rebates and tax credits may be available for more savings. ($1,200, lowes.com)
With an energy-efficient 40,000 BTU burner that has reduced emissions Low-NOx technology, the Richmond 50-Gallon High Efficiency Condensing Power Direct Vent Natural Gas 6-Year Water Heater is one of the most efficient gas models available. It exceeds Energy Star requirements. ($1,494, menards.com)
The Rinnai RC98iN Natural Gas Condensing Tankless Water Heater is 96 percent thermal efficiency. It is able to do this by condensing technology for greater efficiency. The unit delivers 9.8 gallons per minute. ($1,560, amazon.com)
Eighty percent of the heat needed to make hot water is extracted from the energy in the air for the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300 80-Gallon Tall Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater. In one year, the tank is more efficient than a competing 50-gallon tank. If placed in a basement, it also will function as a dehumidifier. ($2,400, homedepot.com)