Guide to Buying the Most Energy Efficient Water Heater
Water heaters are essential to living a comfortable, modern lifestyle. However, the process of heating water with a standard water heater can get expensive and consume lots of energy. Fortunately, you can buy energy efficient water heaters that save the environment and your wallet. With a little knowledge, you can easily reduce your water heating costs.
Storage Tank Heaters
The standard storage tank water heater is the most common water heater in American households. They keep water hot in tanks with a capacity that ranges from 20 to 80 gallons. They also have relief valves that open if the pressure becomes too intense. Since heat escapes through the pipes and walls while you run hot water, energy goes to waste even when the heater isn’t in use.
On the upside, newer storage tank heaters feature insulation that helps prevent heat loss. In general, a storage tank heater is only appropriate for homes that frequently use large amounts of hot water.
Tankless (Demand) Water Heaters
Unlike storage tank heaters, tankless water heaters keep water hot without using a tank. Water gets heated on demand, meaning you only heat what you need. There’s no need to worry about heat loss since you’re using every last drop of hot water. If there are any drawbacks, it’s a limited flow rate of about 3.5 gallons per minute. These water heaters are suitable for households with one or two people.
Solar Water Heating
Solar water heaters function by harnessing the sun’s energy, a method that significantly decreases energy costs. While very efficient, these heaters work best in sunny climates, and also during the summer season. Plus, you’ll need a backup system for cold, cloudy days. Solar powered hot water heaters are also expensive upfront, but help save money for years to come.
Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater
Heat pump water heaters take heat from the air and use it to heat your water. These models use up to 60 percent less energy than a typical water heater. Because the pump is on top, heat pump heaters only work in spaces with high ceilings (about 7 feet of space between the floor and ceiling). Also, a heat pump needs up to 1,000 cubic feet of warm space to capture enough heat from the air, and also a drain for discharging liquid formed by condensation. Heat pumps function best in warm regions with long cooling periods.
Condensing Water Heater
Condensing water heaters are similar to storage tank heaters, except that they catch exhaust gases that usually escape through a flue. Gases travel through a coil at the bottom of the unit, where cold water enters and absorbs the heat. This kind of water heater is perfect for homes that use gas as their heat source.
Heating water can be an energy draining, costly task. But with a little know how you can switch to a model of energy efficient hot water heater that works best for your home. Make the switch and enjoy the environmentally friendly and money saving benefits.