When buying an appliance like a water heater, everyone thinks ‘how much do water heaters cost’? Well, the price of a water heater might seem like cutting your pocket off, where their installation and maintenance adds on the cost. However, these are such appliances that are a need in every household. So, buying them is not a luxury!
To all the new buyers of the water heater, we have created this article where each aspect of the cost will be included. Starting from purchase to installation and maintenance, we will cover all in detail. However, this will be a draft presentation for water heaters in general. Cost may vary according to region, brand, and many other factors.
How much do water heaters cost: Tank-style VS. Tank-less
Water heaters come in two forms, tank-style and tankless. As the name suggests, tank-style ones are those which keep the hot water ready for use. Whereas, tankless water heaters provide a limitless supply of hot water with heating coils. Tanked water heaters are traditional, cheap, and bulky than tankless ones. Tankless water heaters, in other words, are modern innovations. So, you can conclude that they are made the way thinking of modern consumers’ demands.
Technavio is a global market research firm recently surveyed on water heaters. It has been concluded that tankless water heaters are leaving the traditional tank-style water heaters behind. Even though, tank-style ones are quite cheaper in the upfront, but why are they are becoming obsolete? The reason is simple, they have high maintenance costs throughout their life.
– Why tankless water heaters are in demand:
People, nowadays live a hectic lifestyle where they are rushing to for a living. They don’t have enough time for maintaining a mere water heater. Hence, they opt for hassle-free appliances. When tank-style water heater’s tanks are not cleaned at a given time frame, it tends to lose its performance. But this is not the case with tankless ones. With low maintenance cost, they work for decades.
Moreover, the majority of people live in small flats and apartments where the bathrooms are even smaller. To avoid the hefty tanks of water heaters, people are mostly into tankless water heaters. However, both provide the same purpose.
– Tankless water heaters cost:
Usually, tankless water heaters cost two/ three times more than tanked water heaters. This is mainly because of the innovative features it carries. Rinnai produces digital tankless water heaters with amazing technology, including a pre-set timer, WIFI/ Bluetooth connection.
In that case, tankless ones are bound to be exorbitant, but they are worth it as a longest-term investment. A brief overview of the tankless water heaters price in 2020 follows:
- Cost (purchase + installation): $1000- $3000 USD
- Installation time: up to 10 hours
- Life span: 20+ years
- Energy source: electric, gas, propane
Tanked water heaters cost:
Unlike tankless water heaters, the tanked ones are priced according to gallons. The higher the gallon, the more price eventually. However, just to save money, you should not buy the wrong size of the tanked water heater. Starting from purchase to installation, tanked water heaters are way cheaper than tankless ones.
Let us look at the overview of these ones as well:
- Cost ( purchase + installation): $600- $2000 USD
- Installation time: up to 3 hours
- Life span: up to 12 years
- Energy: gas, propane, electric, solar
*Excluding the installation cost, let us look at the estimate of individual cost of tanked water heaters according to gallons:
30 gallons- $200- $900 USD
40 gallons- $300- $1600 USD
50 gallons- $400 – $2200 USD
75 gallons- $900 – $3000 USD
90 gallons- $1000 – $3000 USD
An average-sized family of 4 people requires 40 gallons of the water tank at maximum. So, if you have enough space inside the bathroom and time to maintain the tank, then get ready to save money on a water heater.
See also: How big of a water heater do I need?
Pros & Cons of tanked and tankless water heaters:
Have a look at the brief pros and cons of both the water heaters, so that you know in which to invest.
Tankless water heaters:
- Gives 25% savings on utility bills
- Provides endless water supply
- Has only 5% energy loss
- Great for large families
- Has high unit and installation cost
- Not suitable for usage in multiple bathrooms
Tanked water heaters:
- Can be used for multiple bathrooms
- Cheap unit and installation cost
- Has high efficiency
- Consumes lots of space
- Has 30% energy loss
Cost of water heaters based on energy source:
Did you know the cost of a water heater can also vary as per its energy source? Well, that might sound definite. As mentioned above, water heaters have four/ five main types of energy sources. So, pick one according to your need.
Cost of gas water heater vs. electric water heater:
These two are the most common type of energy sources. Both tanked and tankless water heaters have these two types available. We are all acknowledged about the electric ones. Simply, they run by electricity. However, the gas ones are either natural or propane gas-runned. These water heaters cost $100-$200 more than electrical ones.
Gas heaters might be expensive in the upfront compared to electrical ones. But, they are very energy-efficient. In some regions, electricity bills are very costly, where in other electricity is a rare sight. For those, users’ natural gas seems cheaper and convenient.
Let us see a quick draft of these two sources. So, you can compare more easily.
- Does not work during a power cut
- Has a life span up to 12 years
- Has recovery rate up to 2 hours
- Has 95% energy efficiency
- Price range – $200-$3000 (excluding installment)
- Sometimes works during a power cut
- Has a life span up to 12 years
- Has recovery rate up to 1 hour
- Has 70% energy efficiency
- Price range – $300-$4000 (excluding installment cost)
If there is no option to choose a tank water heater and save some money, then choose a gas tankless water heater. They might cost high upfront, but these are going to save money in the long run.As these are the most energy-efficient ones amongst all.
Oil-fired hot water system vs. Propane water heater cost:
Apart from installation and other costs, these two have sky-high unit price. Both of their starting prices are $1000+ for every water heater. They are manufactured by rare brands and are used in rural areas mostly. They are life savior for people living in colder regions without enough or no electricity and gas supply.
Power vent vs. Direct vent for gas water heaters cost:
The newbies might think, why do we need vents for water heaters? Because, when the gas burns through the entire process of water heating, harmful gases are eliminated. Such as, carbon monoxide, which we know is highly health hazarding! So, these ventilators help to vent away that from your house. And, they come in two forms.
Power venting is way costly than direct venting, as it adds up to $500 on the water heater’s cost. Plus, it needs to be connected with wiring and electrical, which will add more $500 to the cost. The power venting system uses a powered fan that eliminates the unhealthy air out from the home.
Whereas, direct vent does not add direct cost to your unit. However, if you are switching your water heater from electrical to gas, then it will add cost around $500-$700. Direct venting works when the hot air directly passes from your venting window.
Solar power water heaters cost:
Solar power water heaters are the least used amongst all. In this modern era, no one needs the old-school sun to run a machine. Nor does anyone have time for that, unless someone is super energy conscious. Not only its traditional heating method is a downside, but its price is sky-high. The starting price of such water heaters is $2000, so you can think of the maximum price!
Water heater installation costs:
The installation cost for water heaters is directly proportional to the labor cost in your area. Different states/ cities have different costs. However, remember as we have said that tankless water heaters are expensive to install too. An average estimate of national average people spending on installing a water heater is USD 350 a minimum and USD 11000 on maximum.
Hiring a plumber for installation will cost somewhat around $50 to $200 per hour. For tanked water heaters, it is 3 hours maximum, and for the tankless heater, it takes 8 hours on average. On the other hand, for hiring an electrician, you will be spending $50-$100 per hour rate.
The replacement cost of water heaters:
If you are replacing the water heater keeping the size and style the same, then you might have to pay around $500 – $1000. However, other costs like carpeting fees and permit fees will require an extra $50 -USD 1500.
On the other hand, if you are switching your water heater from one energy source to other types, then costing will go like this:
- Cost of Converting to electrical energy source: $500- $1000 (for adding wirings and electrical lines)
- Converting to gas energy source: $250+ (for installing new gas line)
- Converting to expansion tanks (for tanked water heaters): $40-$500 (requires new construction)
Carpentry expenses for replacing water heaters:
It’s not an unusual expense for replacing water heaters. You might need to extend the wall, build a wall, or even enclose a space for the new heater. Such expenses are:
– Wall framing cost: $200 – $400
– Drywall building cost: $500- $700
Some important FAQs
To help you out and know your water heater’s cost more, we have included this section. Here you will know about the common questions that most of the users ask!
Is hiring a plumber/ electrician important to install water heaters?
While installing a water heater, one needs to deal with wirings, pipings and lots more. If you have no idea about such things, then DIYing even with the manual can get you wrong. Thus, you have to bear the repairing cost of the heater which can be greater than hiring a plumber.
So, what we want to say is that, it is always the best choice to hire an expert hand.
How much is the conversion cost for electric from gas water heaters?
When you switch from gas to electric, eventually electrical lines and wirings are required. Therefore, the cost will within $200 to $500. However, do not connect them with your existing circuit. Their dedication to the recommended circuit might be high. Just to save a bit of cost, don’t increase long term expenses.
When to replace a water heater?
Usually, an average estimate of a water heater is 12 years. After that, one should automatically replace their water heater whether it is damaged or not. However, not everyone can pamper their water heaters that long. Negligence and lack of maintenance take their life early!
If you see these signs in your water heater, know that you need a new one. Rusty discoloration, water not heating, as usual, leaks, crack sounds, and strange metal smells.
What is the average cost to run a water heater?
A water heater running cost may vary from $150 to $700 every year depending on various factors. Out of the total utility cost of your household, the water heater takes up to 20% of it.
Have you got the answer to ‘how much do water heaters cost?’ We have tried to put up with every possible cost associated with the water heater. It will help you to have an idea of how and where you want to invest in a water heater.
We advise you to do deep research on your favorite water heaters. Compare the prices, quality, reviews and ratings, and then sum up the cost. Therefore, you will have a good idea of all the costs related to your water heater.
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