240-399-5051

Could you benefit from a high efficiency water heater?

Posted on: April 26, 2011

Post Highlights

  • In the last decade, improved technology has made new water heaters much more efficient than old ones
  • There are many types of high efficiency water heaters, including storage tank heaters, tankless, heat pump and solar
  • If you need water heater replacement in MD or DC call James A. Wheat & Sons!

Is your water heater over 10 years old? It is running inefficiently (and therefore expensively)? If so, it may be time to invest in a new, high efficiency water heater! According to the US Department of Energy, water heaters account for about 12% of energy use in most households, making them the fourth largest energy sink in the home (after the air conditioner or heating system, dryers and refrigerators, respectively). Many household water heaters are also extremely dirty, producing a level of toxic emissions that equals nearly half that or a car!

The reason that water heaters have so many problems stems from the fact that the technology is very limited. Some of the problems often faced by water heaters are:

  • They tend to leak
  • The take a long time, and use a lot of energy, to heat water
  • They waste energy even when they are not actively heating water
  • They tend to be poorly insulated, causing heat loss
  • They are designed to keep the entire tank hot at all times, which ends up wasting a lot of energy

Don’t worry – high efficiency water heaters do exist. In fact, depending on how much water your family uses, installing a high efficiency water heater could reach up to 50%!

Types of High Efficiency Water Heaters

There are basically four types of high efficiency water heaters:

Storage tank (conventional) water heaters – off all the different types of water heaters available, storage tank water heaters are the ones you’re probably most familiar with. Basically, these water heaters store heated water in a large, insulated tank. Storage tank water heaters can use a variety of fuels, including natural gas, electricity, oil and propane. While older storage tank water heaters often had big problems with inefficiency, the new, higher efficiency models can end up saving you huge amounts of money!

Demand (tankless) water heaters – tankless water heaters are considered some of the most efficient water heaters available. Tankless water heaters completely do away with storage tanks. Instead, water moves over a large coil heated by gas or electricity, meaning only the water that needs to be heated gets heated. This eliminates heat losses caused by poor insulation (and also eliminates leaks!).

Heat pump water heaters –basically the same as storage tank water heaters, heat pump water heaters use your heat pump to heat up the water before it moves into the storage tank. These are far more efficient than traditional electric water heaters.

Solar Water Heaters – solar water heaters heat water using tubes up on your roof.Solar water heaters are the most efficient type of water heater – unfortunately, the initial costs are pretty high. Fortunately, many places offer tax credits and rebates that should help offset the installation costs.

How to Choose an Energy Efficient Water Heater

Replacing your clunky old water heater with a new, high efficiency water heater isn’t always easy. Like other major appliances, high efficiency water heaters have large upfront costs. Fortunately, the significant energy savings you’ll experience by installing a high efficiency water heater are possible and can seriously help to offset the costs.

When choosing a new high efficiency water heater, the most important thing to look at is the Energy Factor rating. The higher the rating, the higher the energy efficiency of your new water heater!

Installing a high efficiency water heater is a great way to improve your family’s comfort while saving you money on your energy bills. If you’re ready to install a high efficiency water heater, call James A. Wheat & Sons today!