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MERCON Heating and Cooling provides useful information about heating systems and other related subjects for clients in Ottawa and surrounding area. View our blog posts on this page for more information.

Feb. 28 2019

Buying vs Renting a Water Heater 

Rent or Own: Pros & Cons of Buying vs Renting a Water Heater

In Alberta, most homeowners own their water heaters, while in Ontario, most people rent. When asked why, it comes down to habit. People have always rented water heaters in Ontario, so why change now? 

One of the best reasons to buy your own water heaters, is because over time, you end up with a better deal. However, people who rent claim that the hassle-free service and convenience make up for the added cost.

Renting a Water Heater

Reliance Home Comfort and Enercare rent out water heaters for around $20/mo., depending on the  size of your heater, which is based on your family's hot water needs. They take care of maintenance and will replace it when necessary.

Make Sure You Understand the Water Heater Rental Contract 

Door-to-door water heater contract salespeople have taken an aggressive approach, but Bill 55 will now provide Ontario consumers with more rights, such as the fact that you have 20 days in which to change your mind after signing the rental contract. During that time, the supplier may not charge any fees for the removal of installed equipment.

This new bill comes in the wake of nearly 2000 consumers lodging complaints and or inquiries about water heater rentals to the Ontario government. The complaints ranged from contractual disputes to having to buy out damaged tanks and claiming money back from their insurers.

Owning a Water Heater

You can buy a hot water heater for about ~$1400 - $2400 (Tankless ~$4000 - $4500), depending on capacity, including installation. Since a hot water heater generally lasts for 10-15 years, it will trump rental after about 7 years, assuming it doesn't require repairs. Water heater breakdowns are not all that frequent.

If your rental water heater leaks and causes damages in your home, you will still have to file a claim with your home insurance company. You might as well buy your own unit and know exactly what you have and what you pay for.  

Another benefit of owning your own water heater is that when it packs up, you can make the switch to an on-demand or tankless water heater, which will save you in energy costs, and you'll never run out of hot water mid-shower, as it provides an infinite supply for as long as you need it. 

Although a tankless water heater may cost almost double what a normal water heater costs, it also has about double the lifespan, with the added advantage of up to 50% savings on your energy bills. At the same time, you get to enjoy a tankful of additional storage space in your home, since the system is tiny in comparison to a standard hot water heater tank.


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