Energy Savings May Be As Close As Your Hot Water Heater

Construction & Contractors Articles

For most people, owning a home is one of the most expensive endeavors they will take throughout their lives. Not only do you have the cost of your home, but you have the ongoing upkeep, as well as the cost of monthly utilities. If you are looking for ways to cut some of your costs, you may want to look at the hot water heater that is installed in your home.

How Expensive Is Your Hot Water Heater?

Did you know that your hot water heater is responsible for 14-18% of your monthly utility bill. The average homeowner spends approximately $400-600 dollars per year simply heating water. You may be spending more, or less depending on several factors. They include:

  • The size and age of your hot water heater
  • The type of heater installed
  • The size of your family
  • Your water use pattern, and more

Although you may not have any plans to change the size of your family, you may be able to see substantial savings by replacing the type of hot water heater you have.

Choose The Right Type Of Hot Water Heater For Your Family And Your Space

While most people are only familiar with the conventional storage water heaters on the market, there are several other varieties to choose from. Before you decide to switch over, you need to have a clear understanding of any space limitations you may have. While some of these will fit in your existing space, others may be larger, or have additional components you will need to install.

Tankless or on demand water heaters - will offer you hot water without the use of a storage tank. While the older models did not provide as much hot water as most families desired, the newer ones have been improved.

  • Tankless water heaters work with natural gas, propane, and electricity.
  • They fit in a smaller space than most other hot water heaters.
  • They are wall mounted, and will not take up additional floor space.
  • They eliminate the energy cost of heating extra water you are not using.
  • They offer a more continuous supply of hot water.
  • You do not have to worry about tanks leaking, bursting, or flooding associated with such activities.

One of the biggest downsides is that they are more expensive to convert to and install upfront. Depending on the type of utilities you are using, they may require an additional venting system.

Heat pump water heaters - Just like heat pump heating systems, these operate by moving heat from the air to your tank to heat your water, rather than using energy to generate heat to provide hot water. These only work in areas that have temperatures which range between 40-90 degrees.

  • They are more energy efficient than most conventional models.
  • Can be installed in conjunction with a heat pump heating/cooling system.
  • Cools the space they are in, which makes them the perfect companion for spaces with excess heat.

Be mindful, that these types of water heaters will need to be installed in spaces which have air spaces around the heaters. This means that they may not be appropriate to go in an existing hot water closet.

Solar water heaters - The sun's heat can be harnessed and used to provide you the hot water you need, which in turn will save you money on your utility costs. There are two types of these systems. They are active systems and passive systems. The difference is active systems have circulating pumps and passive systems do not. Both types of systems have many advantages. Some of them are:

  • Most solar systems have larger storage tanks, this means that you will get more hot water for far less money.
  • Systems have less moving parts, which means less maintenance and upkeep.
  • You will be less dependent on the power company for your energy needs, and will even have hot water when the power may be out.
  • The installation of solar systems can be a do-it-yourself project if you are so inclined.

Unfortunately, depending on the type of solar system you choose, they can have much higher upfront cost. The various components that they require will not fit in your existing location. For optimal use, collection panels will need to be placed on your roof, or some other sunny location. You may also need to use some other type of system to provide hot water during cold, or cloudy conditions.

This is only three of the systems on the market, that are available in addition to the conventional systems you may already be familiar with. Depending on where you live, there may be others. Ask your plumbing professionals to learn more about the options you may have.

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28 May 2015

Building our Guest House Was a Great Decision

For years, my wife and I debated on what we wanted to do with all of the spare land in the back of our house. We were lucky enough to buy a house on an extra-large lot for a great deal, but the land was "going to waste" for quite a while. One day, we finally decided to have a guest house built on it, and now that the house is finished, we wish we had built it long ago. We are now renting it out for some extra income, and it is helping us save for retirement. I have always been fascinated by construction, so I enjoyed watching the professionals build the guest house and learned a lot during the process. I decided to fill some free time by blogging about the experience and sharing some construction info I learned during the process. Come back soon!