Energy Efficient Water Heating
About 29% of your monthly energy bill comes from water heating systems, but there is a way to reduce this number significantly. Most of the older water heaters waste anywhere from 20-30% of the energy that they consume since the water is heated all day. Water heaters with tanks are notorious energy suckers since they run all the time, but lose a lot of their heat since they are not sufficiently insulated. By using sustainable building materials and tank-less heating systems, you can significantly reduce your water heater’s contribution to your energy bills.
What is Tank-less Water Heating?
Tank-less water heating uses very compact, on-demand heaters which come in both small and large sizes to service a washing machine, bathroom,or even an entire home. They provide hot water 24 hours a day just like traditional boilers or water heaters. The main difference between tank-less and tank heaters is that the tank-less heaters only heat water when it is needed whereas the traditional tank heaters keep a reservoir of hot water and heat it 24 hours a day.
How do they work?
When a faucet or shower is turned on that requires hot water, cold water begins to flow through the tank-less heater, which triggers a “flow sensor.” When the sensor is triggered, it sends an electrical signal to the heater’s control board, and the gas burner or electric heating mechanism is turned on. The water continues flowing through the heater’s pipe and can be heated from 10-50 degrees Celsius in just a few seconds. By the time the water gets to your faucet, shower, or washing machine, it is hot. You can adjust the temperature setting on the heater to suit any of your needs.
How much energy do they save?
The amount of energy you save on a monthly basis will vary based on how often you use hot water. Your energy savings will also depend on whether you purchase a natural gas or electricity powered, on-demand tank-less water heater. Electric heaters will end up costing more than natural gas heaters, but the savings will still be visible.
Due to the fact that tank-less water heating does not waste any energy when they are not in use, you will save money on water and either electricity or gas since the water is not being heated and evaporating 24 hours a day. It is estimated that the installation of an on-demand heater could save you anywhere from 15-30% on your energy bills every month.
Will you save water?
Tank-less heaters are primarily designed to reduce energy costs, not improve water efficiency. In many cases, you will save some money on your water bill, but not anything significant since you still have to run the water for a short time to purge the cold water from the pipes. However, you do eliminate the loss of water from 24-hour boiling in traditional tank heaters, and you reduce the amount of humidity in the room where your heater is housed.
Improving the Energy Efficiency
When you install a tank-less water heating system, you will still lose some heat from pipes when the water is sent from the heater, through the pipes, to where it is needed. You should perform a “touch test” where you simply touch the pipes through which the water is being transported. If the pipes are warm to the touch, you know you are losing some heat and energy. A great way to minimise the heat losses is to use pre-cut pipe jackets and blankets to insulate your pipes. This will help to reduce the heat loss and lower your energy costs.