Your local gas company is happy to rent you a hot water heater. They tell you that if there is ever a problem with the hot water heater, they will replace it at no charge to you. Eventually all hot water tanks spring a leak, so free repairs sounds like a great deal.
But wait: do the math. How long will an average hot water heater last? When was the last time you replaced yours? If your hot water heater will last for five years (or 60 months), is it worth it to pay $20 per month in rental fees for 60 months, or $1,200? Probably not, if you can buy a hot water heater for $300!
This is just an example, and your numbers may vary. If you have a very large family, your hot water heater may wear out sooner, so renting may make more sense. Either way, don’t just assume renting is the best alternative. Do the math, and make an informed decision.
And don’t forget to turn down the hot water heater to save money!