Many of us no doubt take our hot water for granted but did you know that water heaters account for up to 20% of a household’s annual energy expenditure? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this is the second largest utility expense in the home, with an average cost of $400 to $600 per year. Therefore, the type, size, and efficiency of the water heater you choose will significantly impact its performance and long-term cost savings.
It’s a good idea to know the different types of water heaters available before you purchase one:
Types of Water Heaters
Conventional storage water heaters offer a ready reservoir (storage tank) of hot water, which is adequate for everyday use. However, there are some instances, such as when more than one use for hot water occurs or when guests are in the home, increasing the requirements for hot water.Tankless or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without using a storage tank. This type of water heater is designed to provide an adequate hot water supply without running out when adequately sized.Heat pump water heaters move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water, resulting in high efficiencies and significant cost savings.Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home’s space heating system to heat water.
When selecting the best type and model of water heater for your home, energy.gov recommends you consider the following:
- Fuel type
Availability and cost. The fuel type or energy source you use for water heating will affect the water heater’s annual operation costs, size, and energy efficiency. See below for more on selecting fuel types.
You need a properly sized water heater to provide your household with adequate hot water and maximize efficiency. For more on sizing, visit the pages on different types of water heaters (linked above).
- Energy efficiency
To maximize energy and cost savings, check the energy efficiency of a water heater before you purchase it. Visit the pages on different types of water heaters (linked above) for more on estimating energy efficiency.
Before you purchase a water heater, it’s also a good idea to estimate the annual operating costs and compare those costs with other less or more energy-efficient models. Visit the pages on different types of water heaters (linked above) for more on estimating costs.
Also, examine ways to reduce your hot water use, such as washing clothes in cold water. You may also want to explore other options, such as drain-water heat recovery, to save money on your water heating bill.
If you need a new water heater, installation, or repairing an old water heater, give our expert team at Still Waters Plumbing a call!