Money-Wise Water Heaters

Tankless or "on-demand" water heaters warm up water only when needed. 

Tankless or "on-demand" water heaters warm up water only when needed - reducing water-heating costs by about 30 per cent. "tank water heaters are like leaving a kettle on the stove 24-7 so you can have tea twice a day" says Monte Paulsen, certified energy advisor with City Green Solutions in Vancouver.

Who Should Switch
Households that minimize their daily hot-water usage. Efficiency drops with frequent use because the heater draws huge power (up to 28,000 watts) every time it fires up.

Choices
Condensing natural gas models capture and use exhaust heat; they're pricier but more efficient (up to 98 per cent, compared to 80 per cent for non-condensing). Electrical heaters are [also] available.

Cost
$1,500-$2,500 for natural gas models, plus $500-$1,500 for installation.

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