You don't need to install a tankless water heater to see significant efficiency gains in your home. Like many modern appliances, hot water tanks are drastically more efficient than their older counterparts. Installing a new storage tank water heater can reduce your energy bills significantly. Even better, the relatively low cost of storage tank heaters means you may save more money over the long run.
Although these appliances are relatively simple, advanced features allow them to utilize their fuel more efficiently to heat your home's water. These three features elevate the humble water heater into a green, energy-efficient appliance of the future.
1. Hybrid Heat Pumps
You might assume that you need a gas water heater to see the highest efficiency possible, but hybrid heat pumps can drastically improve the efficiency of electric heaters. These devices work similarly to the heat pumps found in some HVAC systems. Instead of using electricity to heat water in the tank directly, they transfer ambient heat from the environment.
Heat transport is usually more efficient than direct heating, and this can lead to noticeable energy savings. These units work best in relatively warm climates, but they can still benefit many households that may not have access to gas heating.
2. Condensing Gas Heaters
If you're powering your water heater with natural gas, then a condensing heater will offer the most outstanding efficiency. Although this technology was previously limited to commercial heaters, some manufacturers now offer it with residential units. Gas heaters work by using combustion energy to heat water, but traditional units lose much of that heat to the exhaust stream.
Condensing heaters improve efficiency by using a second heat exchanger to capture additional gas and a secondary blower to draw in fresh combustion air. These units are known as "condensing" because they cool the exhaust gases sufficiently for some of them to condense into a liquid. You can typically install a condensing heater in any home, but they may require some changes to the existing exhaust plumbing.
3. Superior Insulation
A shocking amount of energy dissipates in what are known as "standby losses." Standby loss is a simple concept for storage tank heaters: hot water that you never use will eventually cool down. This fact means that you waste some amount of energy heating the same water over and over again. Standby losses are unavoidable, but manufacturers can minimize them with additional insulation.
Superior insulation technology on high-efficiency heaters allows them to retain hot water for longer. Since the heater dissipates less heat into the environment, your water stays hot longer, and you waste less energy. Combined with other features found in high-efficiency units, this essential feature can save you big bucks on your utility bills. Reach out to a professional for a hot water tank installation.