Q: What type of water heaters do you recommend for new construction?

A: I think the water heater get overlooked when building a new home. Most often the builder will have a relationship with the plumber and status quo takes place.

I would suggest otherwise. Do your homework. Many factors take place when deciding upon what to use to heat water. Size of home, locations of where hot water is to be delivered and household demand are to name a few.

Small homes and small demand for hot water is rather easy. An electric or gas tank system with 50 gallon capacity should do the trick. Tankless systems are great. Costs a bit more but delivers hot water on demand and will have a longer payback period if demand is small. But, if you want to use your water heater of a heat source you might want to consider a water heater that is a heat pump as well.

Larger homes and high demand require more research. You might want to consider a solar hot water system. The sun’s energy will help boost the temperature of the water prior to either electricity, gas or propane kicks in to heat the water to desired temperature. For households with much demand this is a good way to go. If you want a geothermal heat pump then you can add a hot water booster as well. It works similar to a solar system. The geothermal heat exchange to heat or cool your home can as a by-product boost hot water so that the energy required to take hot water to desired temperature is less than a standard hot water system. We commonly use these on acreage homes.

I also enjoy reading the paper daily. Thank you for doing so.

Next week I will discuss planning a remodeling project.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!