With the high cost of living today, everyone’s looking for a way to save money and if they can also save energy in the process and help the environment, even better. Installing a heat pump hot water heater is one way to do both at the same time. Here’s how:
What are Heat Pump Water Heaters?
Before you can understand how heat pump water heaters save money and energy, you need to know how they work and what makes them different from other types of water heaters.
Typical water heaters work by generating their own heat through electricity, which means they have to expend energy creating the heat that is then transferred to the water. Conversely, a heat pump water heater uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. Since it doesn’t have to create the heat, it’s up to three times more efficient than a traditional water heater.
A heat pump water heater draws in heat from the air around it, heats it to a higher temperature, and transfers it to the water in the storage tank. Heat pump water heaters come in various models, including standalone units, integrated units that include a storage tank, and retrofit units that can be added to a traditional storage water heater.
Saving Energy, Saving Money
The way in which heat pump water heaters save homeowners money is simple: they require less electricity to operate than traditional models. When you use less electricity, you spend less money on your energy bills. With a unit that is up to three times as efficient as a traditional electric water heater, you can save some serious cash each year.
Of course, this benefits the environment as well. When you use less electricity, you effectively reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which are a finite resource. While it might not seem like you’re doing a lot to help the environment just by changing the type of water heater you use, you are actually making a big difference. The more homeowners who make this switch, the better off the surrounding environment will be.
Climate Matters — Somewhat
Homeowners should be aware that heat pump hot water heaters don’t work as well in all climates. The year-round temperature should be between 40°F and 90°F so the pump has heat in the air that it can transfer to the water. In cold climates that dip below 40°F at least part of the year, heat pumps will not do a great job of heating the water.
In fact, by installing a heat pump in a space that has excess heat, such as in a furnace room or a stuffy attic, will increase its efficiency, since it has more heat to work with from the start. This doesn’t mean you can’t install a heat pump in a cooler climate because they will still work. They just won’t be as efficient as they are in a hot environment.
The next time you find yourself in the market for a new hot water heater, give a heat pump model a shot. You’ll be pleased with the savings you gain, both in money and in energy
Homeowners have a variety of energy sources to choose from to power their homes. Each kind offers its own set of benefits and disadvantages. When you are wanting to be more eco-friendly with your energy consumption, there are many benefits of considering natural gas as your go-to energy source.
Uses Of Natural Gas
Natural gas is non-toxic, colorless, odorless and the lowest-carbon hydrocarbon. It can be used for heating and cooking purposes in both residential and commercial settings. It can also be used to fuel power stations to create electricity for use in businesses and homes.
Natural gas can also be found in many industrial processes to create goods and materials from clothing to glass. Plastics and paints are some important products that have natural gas as a crucial ingredient. The uses of natural gas are many and diverse.
In most areas, natural gas is much more affordable than electricity for heating your house and your water. For the same heating tasks, natural gas can cost almost half as much as oil or coal when used as the energy source. Natural gas is a deregulated utility. This means that consumers have fewer restrictions and are able to have control over how much they pay for the gas. Affordable natural gas prices mean a lot of savings throughout the year for homeowners.
Natural gas is not as eco-friendly as renewable energy sources like wind and solar. However, it is the cleanest form of fossil fuel available. When compared to coal, natural gas releases almost a third less carbon dioxide and half as less than oil when it is burned. Compared to other fuels, it also lets off little to no sulfur.
Using natural gas as your energy source is more reliable and dependable for your energy needs. When a big storm hits your area and the power goes out, you will not be able to depend on any appliance that runs off of electricity. For some homeowners, this means no lights, air conditioning, heating or hot water until the power is restored. When you run your appliances using natural gas, you can still operate them when your power is out.
When you have water heaters and other important home appliances operating using natural gas, the gas is often fed to your home in underground pipelines. This allows your energy source to be safe and well-protected from extreme weather conditions such as heavy storms. If you lose electricity, you will not lose all of your comforts while waiting for the power company to fix the issues.
4. Domestic Energy Source
Much emphasis is put on finding energy sources locally instead of having to depend on foreign oils. In addition to being more abundant and economical, relying more on local energy sources is great for the economy and creates more jobs and revenue.
Learn More About Using Natural Gas In Your Area
If you are looking to turn your home into an eco-friendly environment, turning to natural gas can be a great place to start. Natural gas providers offer plans and pricing options that can be suitable for all homeowners and budgets. Allowing most or all of your appliances to receive energy derived from natural gas can bring you many rewards as a homeowner and someone who cares about their impact on the environment.
This alternative energy source over oil and coal will be good for the global community for generations to come. The use of natural gas is on the rise and will become more competitive as consumers and energy providers look to reduce the impact on air pollution and the environment.
Proper maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency and make it work perfectly for a decade or two. The three major aspects of water heater maintenance are initial thermostat setting, regular maintenance and knowing the softness of incoming water. Read on to know more about water heater repair and maintenance:
1. Initial thermostat setting
The daily rituals of bathing, washing dishes, washing clothes do not need superheated water. Adjusting the thermostats properly can save you money.
Most water heater manufacturers suggest thermostat setting on your water heater to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51 C). This temperature by itself is enough to cause injury to your skin. Besides, when you run your bath water, you will bend in the amount of cold to make the output “just right”. So why would you raise the temperature if you are cooling it off?
Your water heater is one of if not the highest consumer of electricity in your home. Best to set to the manufactures recommend level.
It’s the same theory for both gas-fueled and tankless. Why raise something if you are going to cool it off….
Conclusion: take the time to verify that your unit’s thermostat is not overworking. Go for the 125 degrees F. Save the money
I met one plumber that said he did not run hot water to his dishwasher. He said the machine heated the water itself.
2. Regular Maintenance
Your manufacturer manual most likely suggests periodic inspection and/or maintenance. You can do this, or you can have a water heater plumbing contractor perform this. Every six months for mine. It’s not that big of a deal to do it.
Stop right here: Turn off the electrical breaker before touching any electrical wiring. Close the valve to your gas supply. No casual handling here.
Your unit, if it is a tank type, will have both heating elements and an anode rod.
Hard water allows the accumulation of lime or scale on the element. The speed of this process depends on the level of hardness of your water.
The submerged anode rod is sacrificial. It is added to attract water ions that would otherwise damage your tank. The anode rod requires replacing every year or two. A water heater contractor can be a good choice in this matter. It’s not that hard, but it is a process. Your elements are replaceable. Cleaning them takes time and a little creativity. Go ahead and replace them.
Suggestion: tape a gallon size zip lock bag to your water heater tank. This is where you keep your manual and completed (dated) maintenance schedule.
3. Understanding the “softness” of water
Hard water causes heating elements to foul quicker. When the elements begin “hissing”, it is a sign they are being fouled by being covered with lime. They continue to heat, but not as efficiently. Their ability to heat water will gradually diminish. Don’t wait for the “hissing” sound, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
Your manual states that using a water softener may cause the anode rod to deteriorate quicker. You may enjoy the soft water, but your water heater will need more attention.
Save your money by managing your thermostat setting.
Regular maintenance and attention will protect your heater and extend its lifecycle.
Knowing the softness of your incoming water will help manage your maintenance schedule.
All this will extend your family budget.
For more information about your water heater reach out to your local plumbing company
The search for a method to obtain fast hot water on demand is a constant quest for homeowners. Although it may not be as ubiquitous as something like the quest for life, the idea of immediate hot water has passed the minds of almost everyone who has ever seen water go down a drain when waiting for the water to heat up has thought about it at some point.
Having to wait for hot water when you need it is a big inconvenience. When you realize how much water will be wasted, it may even make you feel a bit guilty, though perhaps not guilty enough to take an ice-cold shower first thing in the morning.
Lucky for us, there are solutions!. A recirculating mechanism, a demand system, and water heaters in the tank or tankless configurations are the options for obtaining immediate hot water at the tap.
Why Does It Take So Much Time?
Understanding why it may take so long for the water that comes out of the tap to be heated will help us figure out how to obtain immediate hot water. While the age and efficiency of a water heater, as well as the amount of insulation in a home’s pipes all, play a role, the most crucial reason is relatively straightforward:
For the hot water to flow through the faucet, the cold water must first be drained out of the pipes.
Following its release from the heating system, the hot water must travel via a network of pipes before reaching the faucet. In front of the heated water seems to be the water cooling in the cold pipelines since the previous request for warm water.
In certain instances, the distance between the water heater and the faucet is longer than you think. Consider, for example, a typical two-story house in the state of Texas. Depending on how the water heater is placed, it may not take long for the water to get hot at the upstairs taps and showers to switch on. As a result, water may not reach the bathroom and kitchen showers and faucets downstairs for a minute or two. However, the water will eventually reach the desired location. It may take even longer during the winter since the initial gallon of water is chilled as it passes through the freezing pipe system.
What are Your Options?
Because each homeowner’s requirements vary, there is no “one size fits all” solution. However, there are four methods for getting immediate water from the faucet.
1. Water Heaters That Recirculate Water
Using a conventional tank heating system, turning the knob at the faucet begins the hot water traveling through the pipes. However, if the water in the pipes has already been heated by the time you turn the tap on, hot water is available at the tap instantly.
A recirculation system links the furthest point of a drainage system returning to a water heater using a plumbing pipe devoted to providing hot water just to that point. Because hot water is constantly cycling through the system, it is instantly accessible at every faucet.
The most significant advantage of the system is that hot water is available immediately at every shower head and faucet, which saves time and reduces water waste. In addition, recirculation systems are frequently triggered by a thermostat, which activates the mechanism when the water temperature falls below a certain threshold. These systems may also be triggered by a timer that can switch off the system during periods when the house is vacant or when hot water is not required, thus saving money on energy costs.
2. Systems for On-Demand Hot Water
When purchasing a new house, a buyer may request that the drainage system be built with a recirculation system, which necessitates installing a dedicated hot water loop. On the other hand, a recirculating system is impossible unless your home is already plumbed for it.
On-demand hot water systems are cold and hotlines connected to a pump located beneath the bath or kitchen faucet located the furthest away from the water heater. It is possible to have the chilly water that usually goes down the drain recirculated back to the water heaters by pressing a button. The water heater’s output is delivered to a faucet by pressing a button as well.
As soon as the water temperature at the furthest fixture reaches the desired temperature, the pump will shut off since the water pipes will have been filled with water.
3. Tankless point-of-use Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters like the Ecosmart Eco 11 this water heater only works when there is a need for hot water to be provided. However, unlike tank water heaters, which store hot water to be delivered to a faucet on demand, a tankless water heater begins operating immediately upon turning the tap on.
Cold water is conveyed via a conduit into a tankless water heater, which subsequently warms the water using an electric element or a gas burner.
In contrast to tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are assessed by the number of gallons of water they can heat in one minute rather than by storage capacity.
A tankless point-of-use water heater, like a traditional water heater with a tank, may deliver almost instantaneous hot water due to its proximity to the fixture that requires hot water. However, while tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than tank water heaters, it should be noted that they do not deliver hot water as fast as tank water heaters since there is a delay of several seconds between when the water is heated and when it reaches the desired temperature. Furthermore, all tankless point-of-use water heaters are electrical, which warms water at a slower rate than natural gas heaters.
4. Tank point-of-use Water Heaters
Exactly as the name implies, a point-of-use heating system provides a supply of hot water that is placed exceptionally near to where a sink, shower, or bathtub is located. It is common practice to utilize point-of-use water heaters to heat water at fixtures located a considerable distance away from the home’s tank water heater. Aside from that, they may be used to heat water at a location where instant hot water is most required or handy.
A tank point-of-use heating system is similar to a conventional whole-home tanks water heater, except that the water tank is much smaller in capacity. Tank point-of-use heating systems are available in various capacities ranging from 2.5-20 gallons, determined by the amount of hot water required. Their ability to provide rapid hot water is enhanced because they reduce the distance that water must travel before reaching its destination. Instant hot water saves a lot of time, water, and money by eliminating the need to wait.
Water Pipes should be insulated
Insulate the area surrounding hot water pipes to prevent heat loss while the water is transported to the faucet. It will also help keep the pipelines warm for longer, which will be helpful the next time you want hot water.
Now, will this provide you with immediate hot water? No. However, it will save the amount of time you have to queue for hot water at the faucet, and it may help lower your energy costs.
It is essential to maintain a heating system, whether a tank or a tankless one, to extend its life span. However, a hot water tank that is not operating at peak efficiency may need a longer time to provide the hot water that you require. For a tank water heater, which is still the most common type of water heater used by most American homeowners, annual upkeep that includes checking the anode rod, flushing the tank, and running tests on the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve helps to ensure the safety and efficiency of the water heater.
Consult a Professional Plumber
Installing a recirculation system should be done by a skilled plumbing professional. In addition, the other alternatives for obtaining immediate hot water at the tap all require specialized knowledge and equipment.
Always use a qualified plumbing expert to install your water heater since poorly placed water heaters may be hazardous and pose a risk of exploding or igniting a fire.
We have all experienced the frustration of waiting for hot water, whether at the sink or in the shower. Often, some delay is required, but when it occurs frequently enough, the time and stress accumulate. Point-of-use water heaters are available in both tank and tankless configurations. Both benefit from being located near the location where they deliver hot water, removing the need to wait for the water to travel via pipes to become heated.
Many alternatives are available if you are looking for methods to obtain immediate hot water from the faucet. Now that you have a better understanding of the options, speak with a certified plumbing expert who can assist you in determining which option is best for your house and perform a skilled installation that guarantees the safety of both you and the family.
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