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The World’s Most Expensive Domestic Hot Water Heater

I’m struggling. You see. For about a year now. I’ve been smitten. With what is quite possibly the world’s most expensive domestic hot water heater. Yes, I’m simply entranced by the the SanCO2 heat pump water heater. I want one. Badly. Precious.

We’d like to renovate our kitchen. It’s not a large house. So, not a large kitchen. Part of the available floor/closet space is taken up by a rather dull, traditional, 30 gallon, natural gas-fired water heater. I’d like to use that space to enlarge the pantry.

So the question becomes how to move or eliminate the standing tank water heater. I’ve surveyed alternatives. As is my way, I’ve done research.

Traditional, on-demand gas water heater

Traditional, tankless gas water heater

On-Demand Water Heater

I had a local company quote us on a natural-gas-fired on-demand water heater that would mount on the outside wall of the house. This is quite common here in Houston. The gas meter is at the northeast corner of the house, essentially at the corner of the kitchen. That makes this arrangement eminently practical.

The quote was for $4,900 all-in. It was enough to give me pause.


Twice in the past few years we’ve had unusually hard freezes. That sort of thing imperils an exterior mounted, on-demand water heater. They must be drained or a hard freeze will literally destroy them. That means there is the potential of not having hot water should we experience the equivalent of another Winter Storm Uri.

Call me crazy, but the possibility of a hot shower on an otherwise freezing day seems like a good thing. Not something that should readily be given up.

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