Tankless Hot Water Heater | Day 132 | The Garden Home Challenge With P. Allen Smith

You know, the only thing better than a good, hot shower is a good, hot shower that's energy efficient. Let me show you what we're doing here. They say an eco-friendly house can't be built in 150 days for $150,000, and I say it can. I'm Allen Smith, join me as I push the limits with time, budget and creativity with the Garden Home Challenge, exclusively on eHow Home. So guess what this is. Yeah, I know it doesn't look like a hot water heater, but it is. It's not the conventional tank type, this is tankless. And the reason we have it is because it really cuts down on the cost of energy. Remember, we're all about saving energy with this house. Now I've been familiar with these tankless hot water heaters for some time — I've used them on several projects. But I first learned about them from some friends in Europe.

This is what they use — this is the standard in Europe because of the energy efficiency. The tankless, it doesn't really run, you know, unless it's — you call for the water. You know, there's not a — it don't always kick on and off, and always has to heat that water. It only heats the water when you actually turn the faucet on. What it does, it just basically doesn't run when you're not home. It's not always heating and cool — you know, water don't have to heat up and cool off — heat up, cool off. It just runs when you need it. You see, the good thing about having a hot water heater that goes on vacation when you go on vacation is it's not charging anything to your account while it's on vacation or you're on vacation. Admittedly, you're gonna spend more money on a tankless hot water heater, initially, but it will begin to pay for itself over time, to the tune of about 25 to 30 percent a year savings in what you would normally spend on energy to heat the water that you use in your home. It's a gas burning unit, so you have to — you can't — it has to vent to the exterior.

And what we're doing is we're coming out of the side of the wall here, so you really won't see it — it really won't be a retina irritant. They make models that actually come out on the exterior that vent directly out to the atmosphere without the venting itself. You know, electric heaters don't have a vent, because they don't have any fuel to burn. They make them indoor or outdoor model on these tankless heaters. Either way, you're gonna have to have some of the fundamental things that you're gonna need for one of the conventional tank hot water heaters: You're gonna need a source of electricity to ignite the fuel to heat the water. And then, of course, you're gonna have to have a fuel source. We're using propane.

You can go with all electric if you like. Hey, if you're enjoying these updates on how the house is moving along, share them with a friend, and check in with us regularly. And subscribe to eHow Home..