How to Buy an Energy Efficient Water Heater [Infographic]

According to the US Energy Information Administration, heating water doesn’t consume quite as much energy as it did twenty years ago. It does still represent over 17% of the average home’s energy consumption, though, so any increases in efficiency will make a difference in energy use and electricity bills. There are a lot of different types of water heaters on the market, though, so how do you know which one will work most efficiently for your living environment?

Our friends at The Home Depot put together this infographic to give you all the information you need on water heaters and efficiency in one place. Of course, looking for the ENERGY STAR label is a good way to start period, but other factors will play into creating the biggest bang for your buck.

Bought a new water heater lately? How did efficiency figure into your purchase? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments…


  1. Sam Sabey

    Nice work, I didn’t know about the condensing gas option…
    We have a heat as you go gas unit at home, and the interesting thing is it uses 15-20 watts of electricity all the time waiting for the hot tap to turn on! Something to consider.
    Also, solar water heating seems to be left out?
    Sam, @samotage

  2. Mark Sandeen

    Don’t forget about indirect water heaters if you use a boiler to heat your home. My experience is that indirect water heaters have both the lowest heat loss per day and the longest expected life. You can buy an indirect water heater with a lifetime warranty and heat loss spec of 1/2 degree F per day. My indirect water heater is now 27 years old.

    Consumer Reports reports that most water heaters are now failing just a couple months after their warranties expire. If you really want to lower water heater costs, one of the best ways of doing that is to avoid replacing them every 6 years. Buy a water heater with a longer warranty and you can avoid paying the plumber installation costs which can easily be 2x the cost of the cheaper water heaters.

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