The water heater for Chateau Steelypips is significantly older than the usual useful life for such devices, and it’s really started to show. I’m getting pretty sick of lukewarm showers, so we probably need to replace it.
As a good squishy liberal type, I of course want to replace it with something more efficient, and there are claims out there that the best way to go for efficiency is with the “tankless” models (a gas one, in our case, so we can still have hot water when/if winter weather takes out our electricity). Of course, there’s a lot of contradictory information out there. The usually reliable Consumer Reports is down on them, for financial reasons– the projected energy savings isn’t enough to offset the cost– but I’m less concerned about that. I’m willing to pay a little more for higher efficiency on general environmental grounds. That Consumer Reports piece also never quite gets around to giving useful figures on the energy usage,
So, I’m throwing this out to the environmental crowd here: Is the energy reduction from replacing our old tank model with a tankless one significant enough to be worth the bother (the installation would be significantly more complicated), or should we just try to find the most efficient tanked model. Please note that we are in a cold and rainy part of the Northeast and do not have significant southern exposure for our house, so ultra-green things like passive solar heating are not possible, so don’t waste everybody’s time talking them up.