Home & GardenSimple Ways To Go Green

A Green DIY Project: Replace Your Old Water Heater With A Tankless Water Heater!

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By Jeffrey

rinnai-tankless-water-heater.jpgSpring is knocking at the door and that means that it’s DIY time!

That’s right all you weekend warriors, strap on your tool belts and prepare for battle.

But where do you start?

As long as we’re looking for a project to start on, why not choose one that will help us take another step towards living green? And if we’re going to take that step, why not address an issue that contributes up to 25% of our overall energy bill all year round?

It’s time to tackle the water heater!

In the next few posts, we’re going to discuss many of the best (and the worst) options to choose from.

We’ll talk about everything from conventional storage water heaters to tankless (or “on-demand”) water heaters and even solar-powered systems.

If you didn’t know, conventional systems are, by far, the least efficient of them all!


My interview with Gavin Richardson, a reader who recently went the tankless water heater route


Hey Gavin, what made you decide to replace your old water heater with a new tankless one?
We live in an older historic home, and knew when we purchased it that we’d soon have to replace many of the appliances. We made the decision to do so with energy efficient appliances as the old ones die.

Cool, what kind of tankless water heater did you decide on?
We decided on a Rinnai.

What made you choose Rinnai?
After researching, they seemed to be the best solution to meet our needs and the requirements of our home.

How many square feet is your home, and were you able to get by with only one main system or did you require “booster” heaters along the lines?
Are home is about 1700 sqare feet, and we were able to find a solution that didn’t require any boosters.

How much did your system cost, if you don’t mind me asking, ha ha?
We expected that the heater and the install would cost us $1800 out of pocket. Unfortunately it ended up costing about $3,000.

WHOA! What made the price jump so high?
Our gas powered, historic home required some some significant labor like re-routing some lines, venting the unit to the outside, and other issues to keep us “up to codes”

Yuck, too bad you found yourself in that situation! So how long did the install take?
Strangely enough, they got it done in a day.

Hopefully with that hefty out of pocket expense, you’re having some good savings right?
Yeah we are. Our energy bill is down 30% from the same time last year. That said, we have begun to live more efficiently elsewhere in the home, but the new tankless water heater has no doubt contributed significantly to our savings.

That’s quite a savings! So what do you enjoy most about your new tankless water heater?

  1. Mostly, it’s “stupid-proof”. If I have to change the temp, all I do is press a button on the digital read out.
  2. It doesn’t require maintenance of any kind.
  3. It has a 25 year guarantee.
  4. It’ll be a selling point of the home one day.
  5. When my wife and I begin to start a family, the savings will be even greater.


So far, I’ve discovered that selecting a new efficient water heater can be more difficult than we could have ever imagined. Stay tuned to the next post to have all your tankless water heater questions answered!