What Type Of Water Heater Is Most Energy Efficient?

February 18, 2021
Faucet Hot Water

In a typical American household, heating water accounts for about 20% of all the energy used. The average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 years. Even if your water heater hasn’t yet sprung a leak, you might consider replacing it now if it doesn’t have the right capacity for your needs or if it doesn’t efficiently or effectively heat the water. If it’s time for your Niagara Falls, NY, home to get a new water heater, choosing one that’s energy-efficient is smart. Here’s what you need to know about what type of water heater is the most efficient.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater Versus Tankless Water Heater

Water heaters with a storage tank must always use some energy in order to keep the water warm. Some energy efficiency experts call this “ghost use” because it happens all the time, and you don’t notice it. Because of this constant energy use, a water heater with a tank is typically less efficient than a tankless or on-demand water heater. An on-demand water heater only uses energy to heat water once you turn on the hot water tap. Because no water is stored with a tankless water heater, there’s no energy being used when you’re not demanding hot water.

Source of Fuel for the Water Heater

When you’re shopping for a new water heater, the fuel source is another consideration. If you’re concerned about your home’s carbon footprint and want lower utility bills, a solar power water heater is the most environmentally friendly solution. However, Niagara Falls isn’t the best place for solar power generation. Geothermal is the next-best choice for low-emissions water heaters that are affordable to operate. If geothermal isn’t feasible for your property or budget, natural gas is the most energy-efficient fossil fuel for powering a water heater. After natural gas, propane is the next-most energy efficient, followed by electricity and heating oil.

Consider the Combination of Fuel and Type of Water Heater

An electric tankless water heater will be more energy-efficient than an electric conventional water heater, and a geothermal water heater with a storage tank will cost less to operate and use less energy than a natural gas on-demand water heater. Each manufacturer lists its product’s cost to operate and typical energy use. This information is available on the manufacturer’s website and in the owner’s manual. Our team can also compare the options with you, especially if your home has access to multiple fuel sources and you have enough space to accommodate a storage tank style of the water heater.

Look Into New Water Heater Technology

Heat pump water heaters are a new type of water heater. Instead of generating heat, they move it. A heat pump water heater may move heat from the outdoor air, an underground or surface body of water, or the Earth. It transfers the heat energy to the water stored in the tank. This energy transfer process creates a slight cooling effect in your home, so you’d need to avoid putting a heat pump water heater next to your home’s thermostat. Heat pump water heaters typically have a backup heat source for times when the outdoor air doesn’t have enough heat energy. The backup heat source could be an electric panel or a connection to the natural gas supply. In a typical household of four people, a heat pump water heater will lower the cost of heating water by at least 30%. An average home will save $350 per year by installing this type of water heater.

Additional Features to Look for in an Energy-Efficient Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters have smart thermostat compatibility. They can reduce energy use during peak-demand times of the day. This will lower your utility bills. This type of water heater will heat more water overnight. If you’re considering a heat pump water heater, choose one with the largest storage tank that fits into your home. The extra stored hot water will reduce the frequency of use of the backup heating system.

Vastola Heating & Cooling is the trusted team for energy-efficient water heater installations. Homeowners also turn to us for heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and replacement. Our snowmelt systems, indoor air quality solutions, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ductwork, duct sealing, and smart thermostats keep your home comfortable, safe, and healthy. For more details about what type of water heater is the most energy-efficient, get in touch with us at Vastola Heating & Cooling any time.