An Energy Star certified water heater has passed independent certification for low energy consumption and operating costs while meeting superior performance standards. This may be just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking to improve your water heater situation long-term. While an upgrade may cost a little more upfront, these added costs promote greater efficiency and longer service life. Here’s an overview of what’s available.
High Efficiency Gas Storage Tank
These units take the conventional storage tank concept to a higher level of efficiency and long life. They feature high-tech tank insulation, heat traps to sustain heat energy and highly efficient burners. These improvements deliver efficiency gains of about 7.5 percent over standard storage tank heaters with only a relatively modest increase in upfront price.
Gas Condensing Water Heater
A condensing heater utilizes a powered inducer fan to push air and gas together in a sealed combustion chamber. In addition to a primary heat exchanger, condensing units incorporate a secondary heat exchanger that circulates hot combustion gases through a steel coil inside the tank. Extra heat energy released by the condensation process in the secondary exchanger boosts these units to efficiency ratings as high as 96 percent. Initial purchase cost is also substantially higher, but payback through lower operating costs—about 30 percent less than a standard heater—will generally occur during the service life of the heater.
Heat Pump Water Heater
Instead of generating heat, a heat pump water heater extracts heat energy from household air. These units offer superior efficiency by utilizing an indoor evaporator coil to absorb latent heat, a compressor and refrigerant to concentrate the heat, and an internal condenser coil to transfer it to the water. Under modest hot water demand, only the energy required to power the compressor and coil fan is consumed, resulting in monthly water heating cost reductions of about 50 percent. Most models incorporate supplemental electric resistance coils to handle periods of high demand, turning the system into a hybrid heat pump/electric water heater. This option is especially prudent if your current water heater is an electric hot water tank- often selected because natural gas is not available.
Ask the professionals at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling about other benefits of selecting an Energy Star certified water heater.