Are there efficient water heaters that will work when the power goes out?
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Last winter we lost power for 4 days but had hot water from an ancient gas water heater (i.e., no electric starter), which made the situation bearable (along with borrowed firewood from our neighbor!). We are planning to replace this falling-apart house with a modular, very green replacement. Is there a water heater that is efficient and morally upstanding, but will work when the power goes out again? (Our power goes out in summer and winter.) Or is the real answer to build in an emergency
Efficient, no standby loss, no power requirements, and small footprint -- Bosch tankless 1600H water heater or equivalent. Sizing depends on your domestic hot-water load.
Installing a standby generator is a great idea and solves other problems that occur during long power outages. Fridge, freezer... Xbox... Much greater cost of installation, however.
Obviously a possible answer would be to install an efficient tankless water heater to cut daily operating costs, and include a standby generator for the too-frequent power outages -- providing the budget is there.