When hot water accounts for 14-18% of the typical utility bill, it’s probably a smart idea to take a long look at how your water heater contributes to (or detracts from) your overall energy efficiency. Put into simple terms, the older your heater, the more likely it is to be costing you money.
What are my options?
Storage– These traditional water heaters are still the most popular. They work by maintaining a 20-80 gallon reservoir of hot water at all times, cycling in and heating up fresh water as needed. Because they constantly keep water heated, you need to make sure yours is very well insulated, or risk wasting energy.
Tankless-Meanwhile, tankless water heaters only heat water as needed. While this typically makes them more energy efficient, it does mean that they’re not great multitaskers.
Heat pump-Instead of generating their own, these high-efficiency water heaters move heat from one place (often the air) to another. This means they do have some special requirements, like plenty of room and certain temperature ranges, but when installed correctly, they can also feed into a high-efficiency heating and cooling system.
Tankless Coil– These tie directly into your space heating system to share energy, but can be inefficient in warmer months, when you aren’t using heat.
Solar-There are many different ways to make a solar water heating system work. The bottom line? It’s 50% more energy efficient than gas or electric, but has high upfront costs and may be unreliable, depending on the weather in your region.
What about fuel type?
That’s a lot of options, but it doesn’t even factor into account fuel type. There are as many ways to heat your water as there are ways to heat your house. Depending on availability, you’ll have to choose between electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, propane, and geothermal energy.
We offer our clients a free home energy consultation: 203-442-1318 or fill out the form to the right.