Looking for an energy efficient hot water heater?

An energy efficient hot water heater can play a big role in lowering your utility bills.

Energy efficient hot water heaters are available in a variety of forms. These include traditional 40-gallon tank systems that consume electricity, oil, or propane. These systems are the standard that you see in most homes.

There are several ways to maximize the efficiency of these hot water heaters. One easy step is to lower the thermostat that controls the temp of the water in the tank. By making this simple (and no tools required) adjustment, you can save a significant amount of energy.

These systems take in cold water and either burn propane or heating oil to heat the water. Electric heaters use electricity to heat an element that heats the water. Once the water is heated, these heaters need to maintain the temperature.

By reducing the required water temperature, you not only reduce the initial amount of energy but also the required energy to maintain the temperature.

Another cost-effective and easy way to increase efficiency is to insulate the holding tank. By purchasing and installing a proper water heater "blanket" you keep the heat in the heater instead of escaping. This translates into a savings because you use less energy to maintain your water temperature.

Another tip with insulating is to use pipe insulation on the pipe coming into and going out of the water heater. This helps to moderate the water temperatures, both coming in and going out.

Routine maintenance will ensure that your hot water heater is operating with maximum efficiency. For oil or gas-fired heaters, this means a regular cleaning of the nozzles and venting. Electric heaters need to have their elements replaced per manufacturer's recommendations.

If your water is hard (contains minerals), then it is important to remove sediment that develops. This sediment develops when the water is heated and it impedes heat transfer, thus reducing efficiency.

Newer hot water heaters are more efficient than older ones. When considering replacing your hot water heater, look at the efficiency rating of the new unit. Energy Star-rated models typically are among the most efficient.

Tankless water heaters
are among the most efficient. These hot water heaters do not have storage tanks. Instead, they instantly heat only the water you need. Their compact design and efficiency make them a strong choice when looking for a new heater.

Solar hot water systems are another energy efficient alternative. Although they are more expensive initially, these systems burn no fuel, and thus have low operating costs. Another expense with solar hot water systems is the need for a backup or traditional heater to ensure reliable hot water in varying weather conditions (such as cloudy weather).

An energy efficient hot water heater is a good way to save on energy bills and water bills without investing a small fortune.

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