If the water heater in your Georgetown, Delaware, home is more than a decade old, you can save energy by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Energy-saving water heaters are often more expensive than other options, but you can eventually get your installation costs and more back through lower utility bills.
There are many types of efficient water heaters, including tankless, solar, heat pump, and indirect designs. Look for the Energy Star label to find out how much energy a water heater uses and its capacity. You should also consider the fuel source and the amount of space you have for a new unit.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also called instantaneous or on-demand models, use heating coils to add heat when you turn on the hot water. Since they don’t store hot water like most other water heaters, they don’t use energy to keep it at a high temperature when you don’t need it. Tankless units last longer than conventional water heaters, and they’re smaller since they don’t have a tank to store water. You can use the extra space for storage, and you won’t have to worry about a tank that could leak.
Gas units work best since they can heat your water faster, but electric models are also available. However, a tankless heater can only give you about three and a half gallons of water per minute. If you have a large family, you could need two tankless water heaters.
Solar Water Heaters
A solar water heater doesn’t use any electricity, so it won’t contribute to your power bill at all. It has an insulated storage tank and a solar collector, and you can install it in your yard or on your roof. You can use a solar water heater to save energy in any climate. Active solar water heaters have a pump to move water through your home’s pipes, while passive models use gravity.
Direct circulation systems have a pump that circulates water through a solar collector. They’re best for places that don’t have cold winters. With an indirect circulation system, a pump moves refrigerant through a solar collector, and then a heat exchanger warms the water. These systems can withstand freezing temperatures better than other solar water heaters. Integral collector storage systems usually have tanks on roofs, and water flows into your plumbing through gravity. Thermosiphon systems are similar, but they’re usually in yards. The water rises to your pipes as it gets warmer.
Heat Pump or Hybrid Water Heaters
Heat pump or hybrid models transfer heat to a storage tank, and many are in unconditioned sections of homes like basements for more efficient heat transfer in summer. Also, they take up more space than conventional water heaters, so your utility closet may not be large enough. The heat pumps are usually on top of the storage tanks, so you could need an area in your home with a ceiling that’s up to 7 feet tall.
Heat pump water heaters are more efficient than many other models in warm climates because they can transfer heat more easily. They’re similar to conventional water heaters, but you should change the air filter for the heat pump regularly.
Indirect Water Heaters
An indirect water heater uses your home’s heating system to provide hot water. When you turn on the tap, water flows near your heating coil or heat exchanger until it reaches a comfortable temperature. Any extra hot water goes to a storage tank so that you don’t have to use your water heater as often.
Tankless coil water heaters are similar, but they don’t have tanks. Both of these designs can run on electricity, gas, oil, or propane. They’re excellent choices if you live in a cold climate and have a hydronic heating system like a radiator or pipes that heat your home’s floors with hot water.
Custom Mechanical has more than 35 years of heating, air conditioning, and plumbing experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of equipment, including water heaters. Call us anytime at 877-696-0808 for great service.
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