From doing the dishes and cleaning grimy cabinets to bathing ourselves, the hot water that water heaters provide us with has many vital uses. However, nothing comes free; in fact, water heating accounts for as much as 18% of a home’s energy usage! But whittling something as complex as energy consumption down to one number can be reductive. There are many different, equally important factors that determine your water heater’s energy consumption. In fact, you don’t even have to rely on electric heaters alone! In this blog, we’re going to look at all the options that homeowners have when it comes to water heaters, with a specific focus on energy consumption.
Energy Consumption — Electricity vs. Gas
Gas heaters are always cheaper than electric heaters, regardless of whether they’re tank storage or tankless variants. The exact monthly energy requirements vary from model to model and brand to brand, but we can provide rough figures to give you a basic idea. For tank storage heaters, the cost is around $30/mo for gas bad $42/mo for electric. Tankless water heaters are 24% to 34% more energy efficient than traditional tank water heaters. The Department of Energy’s detailed energy cost breakdown has more details.
Ways to Cut Down
Here are the ways in which you can reduce your water heating energy bills.
Invest in Solar
A solar water heater is a one-time investment. It costs more than traditional water heaters (around $1405–1970), but the returns in terms of energy savings are immense. Once you buy the system, there will be no consequent energy bills. Solar water heaters work quite well in high temperature areas like Miami, and the only associated costs after installation are maintenance costs. On average, the solar system will cover up its initial cost after 7 years of normal use.
Heat Pump Water HeatersIf your house doesn’t receive adequate sunlight for a solar water heating system, you can invest in a heat pump water heater instead. Energy costs won’t be eliminated like with a solar water heater, but you will save a lot over time in comparison with conventional water heaters.
It is reported that families can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week. If such wastage is cut down, precious water will be saved and, along with it, the energy used to heat it up.
Replace Old Systems
Old technology is simply inefficient. Newer models of water heaters are more energy efficient and consume less energy to heat up the same amount of water. An Energy Star certification is a good indication of energy efficiency.