There are a lot of reasons to install a high-efficiency water heater in your home. Lower utility bills and energy savings are two big ones, but there’s more to it than that. Choosing an energy-efficient water heater that’s best suited to your needs and your home can pay off big time over the long haul.
At High 5 Plumbing, we offer several types of high-efficiency water heaters. A few to consider are:
- Storage (tank) water heaters – gas or electric
- On-demand (tankless) water heaters – gas or electric
- Heat pump water heaters
Our experienced, certified technicians will work with you to determine the best size and type of water heater for your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.
1. It’s More Efficient
Did you know that heating water accounts for about 15% of a home’s energy use? Clothes washers, showers, baths, sinks, and dishwashers all require hot water at some point in your day. Over time, those energy costs add up.
Wondering how a high-efficiency water heater saves you energy?
Consider a standard gas tank water heater, for example. A standard unit is designed to extract at least 80% of the heat it generates in order to make your water hot. The remaining 15-20% of the heat gets vented out of the building, unused. It’s like having 15 to 20 cents of every dollar you spend to go up the chimney. Literally.
The solution? A high-efficiency water heater.
In order to be considered high-efficiency, a water heater must have a thermal efficiency of 90% or higher (some have an efficiency as high as 95%).
According to Energy Star, a program of the Environmental Protection Agency, “high-efficiency water heaters use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard models.” We’re all in favor of making smarter, more planet-friendly use of our energy resources. If saving energy (and money) is a priority for you, high-efficiency is definitely the way to go.
Here are the expected energy savings vs. minimum standards, from most efficient to least efficient:
- 65% savings (compared to electric resistance)
- Tankless: 45%-60% savings
- High Efficiency Storage: 10%-20%
2. It Saves You Money
Because high-efficiency water heaters make better, smarter use of energy (whether gas or electric), they save homeowners like you significant money on their utility bills. Your actual energy savings from a high-efficiency water heater will obviously depend on the size of your family, the location of your water heater, and the size and placement of water pipes, but there’s no question–you stand to save a lot with a high-efficiency unit.
Here’s what you can expect to save over the lifetime of your high-efficiency water heater, according to Energy Star:
- High-efficiency storage (tank) water heaters: up to $500
- On-demand (tankless) water heaters: up to $1,800
- Heat pump water heaters: up to $900
3. It Heats Your Water Faster
Tank water heaters keep water hot and ready for use at all times thanks to insulated storage tanks. They range in size from 20 to 80 gallons. This is a convenient option for homes that use a lot of hot water at once (i.e. a washing machine and a shower), though your energy savings over time will not be as high as they would be with a tankless water heater or a heat pump water heater.
Tankless water heaters give you on-demand hot water. The heater circulates water through a large coil powered by gas or electricity. This may not be the right choice for you if you want to use several hot water fixtures simultaneously. But a hot-water-on-demand tankless water heater is definitely more cost-effective than a tank water heater.
Heat pump water heaters are especially effective in warmer climates with long cooling seasons because they pull energy from the surrounding air to heat your water.
4. It Can Last Longer Than a Standard Model
With proper maintenance, a traditional tank water heater lasts an average of 8 to 12 years. By comparison, here’s how the expected lifetimes of high-efficiency alternatives stack up, according to Energy Star (again, assuming the unit is well-maintained):
- High-efficiency storage (tank) water heaters last 8 to 10 years
- On-demand (tankless) water heaters last 20 years
- Heat pump water heaters last 10 years
Depending on the type of water heater you choose, your high-efficiency model may not necessarily last longer than a standard water heater. But you’ll still save a significant amount in energy costs over the life of the unit.
5. It’s Safer
High-efficiency tank water heaters use a sealed combustion (no open flame) process to heat your water. A standard tank water heater, by contrast, relies on open combustion (an open flame) to heat your water. Ventilation is absolutely critical, and if it’s not done correctly, the impacts can be fatal.
Choosing a high-efficiency tank water heater over a standard one significantly reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and back-drafting since the combustion process is sealed off.
If safety is a concern for your family, a high-efficiency water heater is the safer choice.
Consideration: Installation Costs
High-efficiency water heaters require a different type of venting than a standard water heater. This usually means we have to install a new venting system in order to install a high-efficiency unit. Given the more complicated setup, costs to install one are typically higher.
But if you weigh the up-front investment with expected savings over time (in energy costs and energy usage), we think the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial expense.
What Do You Have to Lose?
Choosing a high-efficiency water heater is a smart move for your home, in terms of utility bill savings, energy savings, the expected lifetime of a unit, and convenience. Whether your home runs on electricity or gas, our trusted team of expert plumbers can help you choose and install a high-efficiency tank, tankless, or heat pump water heater that’s perfect for your individual needs. You really have nothing to lose! Say hello to more money in the bank and reliable hot water when and where you want it!
Request a Water Heater Estimate Today!
At High 5 Plumbing, our trustworthy, reliable experts can help you select the ideal high-efficiency water heater for your home. Call us today to get your expert estimate–fair and honest every time!