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Thread: Choosing The Most Efficient Nat Gas HWH

  1. #1
    BPI Building Analyst BPI Rob's Avatar
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    Default Choosing The Most Efficient Nat Gas HWH

    This project involves abandoning a chimney and replacing a Natural Gas HWH. We were going to go solar (with condensing direct vent back up), but after realizing how efficient the new generation HWH are, the savings of going solar are quite small, the payback after incentives AND self install still around 20 years.

    Our decision is to just get the most efficient, durable HWH out there and forgo the added expense of solar thermal. We currently have a conventional 50g, 40k BTU with an 89 FHR. Our family of six has been well served by the capacity of this HWH. We currently have no space-heating requirements of the HWH. I'm having a hard time finding a 95% or better efficient HWH in this size and capacity. The best units (listed below) seem to be much larger and often designed for space heating as well. We are not adverse to spending $2-$4k as long as there is real value.

    We will be adding a 200 sq. ft. room addition in the next couple years. It's long side faces due south and passive solar heating opportunities abound. Maybe one of these larger WH with side mounted taps would be wise for a radiant slab in the future addition? Is it wise to put radiant in a solar thermal mass? I have seen it done before, locally, but never experienced it.

    I have narrowed it down to:
    A.O. Smith Next Hybrid (http://www.hotwater.com/lit/spec/res_gas/AOSYG45000.pdf)
    A.O. Smith Vertex (http://www.hotwater.com/products/res...vertex100.html)
    Phoenix (http://www.htproducts.com/phoenix.html)
    Bradford-Whites Residential Ultra High Efficiency Energy Saver Gas Water Heater (http://www.bradfordwhite.com/product...product_id=345).

    Does anyone have experience with these units, recommendations of others, or a different strategy to offer?

    Many Thanks!

  2. #2
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Why leave out the Polaris?

    There is a thread just above this one that sounds exactly the same [?]

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member compugru's Avatar
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    Default

    I too am looking for the answer on this?

    Mine must be direct vent.

    Any comments?

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd do the Bradford White.

  5. #5
    Ronny00
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    Currently using patio heater but want to change it, does any one know Can I convert my propane patio heater into a natural gas patio heater?

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Currently using patio heater but want to change it, does any one know Can I convert my propane patio heater into a natural gas patio heater?

    Heating water with a patio heater is about .5% efficient. Use a propane torch on a 5 gallon bucket.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronny00 View Post
    Currently using patio heater but want to change it, does any one know Can I convert my propane patio heater into a natural gas patio heater?
    Attaching a 'new' subject to an old thread isn't the best way to get good answers, but to convert any propane device to natural gas requires changing the regulator and the jetting. Natural gas operates at a lower pressure and requires a larger jet to get the same (often less) output. IF it can be done on that device, you'd want to get a kit from the manufacturer. then, running the gas line would likely require a permit and a pro to install.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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