Product Round-Up: Propane Furnaces and Tankless Water Heaters

Propane tankless water heaters and furnaces provide homeowners with the convenience and comfort of energy-efficient, on-demand hot water and heat.
Because tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed in a home, propane tankless water heaters can cost up to 60 percent less to operate than standard electric tank model. In addition to being more energy-efficient, tankless water heaters also ensure that hot water is delivered when a homeowner turns on the tap. Over 200 models of propane tankless water heaters are Energy-Star approved, whereas only eight models of electric heat pump water heaters are Energy-Star approved. Energy Star tankless water heaters qualify for a 30 percent of the cost (including installation) tax credit or up to $1,500 for the homeowner if the appliance is installed before Dec. 31, 2010.

These tankless water heaters can help you take advantage of these tax credits:

Propane Direct-Vent Tankless Water Heater
By Rheem
The RTG-66DV gas direct-vent, tankless water heater is designed for homes with two or three bathrooms. A concentric venting system simplifies installation by expelling the byproducts of combustion through a 3-inch exhaust pipe inside the 5-inch intake run. The unit can deliver water at a rate of 6.6 gallons per minute. The product uses natural gas or liquid propane. Energy factor: 0.82.

R75Lsi Propane Tankless Water Heater
By Rinnai
The R75Lsi delivers continuous hot water on demand up to 7.5 gallons per minute. The unit features a redesigned commercial-grade heat exchanger, an integrated condensate collector, an integrated digital temperature controller, and direct electronic ignition with no pilot light. The combustion unit is sealed, so it doesn't use interior combustion air. Two units can be connected together without a control board. The whole-house unit measures 10-by-14-by-20 inches and weighs 46 pounds. The temperature can range from 98 to 140 degrees F. Energy factor: 0.82.

Homeowners and builders can also benefit from cost and energy savings by installing a propane furnace in their home. A propane furnace emits fewer greenhouse gases than a standard electric furnace. Additionally, propane furnaces that are Energy Star rated and have an AFUE of 90 percent will save homeowners $600 over its lifetime. Furnaces with an AFUE of 97 percent will save $900. High-efficiency propane furnaces also qualify for the 30 percent or up to $1,500 tax credit offered until Dec. 31, 2010.

Infinity IdealComfort Modulation Furnace
By Carrier
This modulating, Energy Star-qualified propane furnace offers up to 95 percent AFUE and maintains indoor temperature within 0.3 degrees F of the thermostat setting, Carrier reports. Instead of cycling on and off, the furnace operates at a low speed 83 percent of the time, blowing a nearly continuous flow of warm air. The system also provides control over humidity, air quality, fan speed, and ventilation.

Energy Star-Qualified XV95 Furnace
By Trane
The Energy Star-qualified XV95 propane-fueled furnace features two-stage operation that delivers high-efficiency performance of 96.7 percent AFUE. The Comfort R variable-speed motor provides warmer startups during the heating season and better humidity control during the cooling season, the firm states. The XV95's insulated blower door and cabinet help save energy and reduce noise during operation.

Check with your state and your local propane gas association for additional tax incentives and rebates on furnaces and other propane-fueled appliances. For more information on tankless water heaters and how you can save money with propane-related energy tax credits, enroll in our free AIA- and NAHB-approved continuing education courses here.

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