As I’ve mentioned before, old tank style electrical water heaters can be one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home. So this week I am happy to publish this guest post giving you an overview of the pros and cons of three more energy efficient water heaters.
Water heaters usually have a lifetime of 10-12 years. If your water heating system is beyond its lifespan it may be time to consider replacing it. Of course, water heaters that are damaged or have become too dysfunctional to be used should also be renewed. With the wide variety of options for water heaters it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. After all, the unit you’re going to buy should fit with the current needs of your home.
Installing energy-efficient water heating systems obviously means saving money on your electricity/energy costs over time. Generally, energy-saving water heaters have higher upfront costs, but they make up for it in the long run. We will take look at the most energy-efficient water heaters that you can purchase today and tackle their benefits as well as their shortcomings.
Tankless Water Heaters
This is probably the most popular water heater right now. It has on-demand technology which means it will only use energy if you’re using hot water. Tankless systems aren’t like storage tank-types which require the water supply to be heated 24/7. Another benefit of using a tankless water heater is that you don’t have to worry about replacing it for a long period of time. Tankless systems have a lifespan of 20 years which is higher than your average unit which only lasts up to 10-12 years.
So what’s the problem with installing this type? Apart from being expensive just like any other modern and energy-efficient unit, tankless systems may have additional installation costs. If you’re switching to a tankless water heater from a standard unit then you need to have your plumbing retrofitted so that it can accommodate the tankless system — adding hassle and expenses. It’s also more advantageous if you use natural gas as fuel since using electricity requires an electrical capacity upgrade of your house.
Heat pump water heaters
Heat pump heating systems or also known as hybrid water heaters have a unique way of heating water. They draw in the heat from the air and then use it to keep the water supply warm. Heat pump water heaters can only run through the use of electricity but are still far more energy-efficient than a standard electrical water heater.
This water heater is also one of the most eco-friendly since it doesn’t produce any gas emissions. You have the option to set-up a heat pump heating system on the ground, roof, etc. Its lifespan can reach up to 15+ years.
Amongst the problem of heat pump water heaters is the installation. You need to have at least 2.13 metres of height clearance starting from the floor to the ceiling. Furthermore, you need to have an allowance of 1,000 cubic feet of warm area near the unit in order to get sufficient heat. Lastly, heat pumps also have one of the highest initial costs for water heaters.
Solar Water Heaters
Obviously, this water heater uses solar energy as its fuel source. A great thing about solar energy is that not only is it free; it’s also a renewable form of energy, further reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, as well as emissions. The return of investment is between 5-10 years which is fast compared to other heating systems. Maintaining a solar water heater doesn’t require a lot of effort or expenses.
You’re at a great advantage if you’re located somewhere that has sunny weather for most of the year. However, you won’t be getting the most out of your solar water heater if you live in a place with long winters. Although there are units that can be used for cloudy or winter weather; they won’t absorb enough sunlight to fully utilise the solar water heating system.
Katie Jones is the writer and editor of DrDRiP Plumbing. She enjoys writing articles that tackle about home improvement, plumbing guides, and energy-saving tips — and sharing them to anyone who will find these topics beneficial.