Most people are surprised to learn water heaters account for nearly 20% of a home’s energy consumption. Choose the wrong water heater, and it will consume more energy than your refrigerator and stove combined.
We want to help you avoid that. Here, you’ll learn the merits of green water heaters that benefit the environment and your home utility bills. However, most people aren’t aware of what makes a water heater environmentally friendly. Here’s a quick look at what constitutes an eco-friendly water heater that will save you water, time, and frustration while benefiting the planet.
How to Get Started With the Purchase of a Water Heater
If you are like most people, you feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information on hot water heaters ranging from types to models, features, and the nuances of installation.
Here’s one easy tip to set you on the right track: Instead of buying the cheapest water heater at your local home improvement store, opt for professional water heater installation. Water heater installation done the right way sets the stage for drama-free showers, baths, dishwashing, and more for years to come.
Tap into the expertise of a professional water heater installer, and you will get the inside scoop on the specific water heater models that are both environmentally and economically efficient. As an example, Rheem has some of the top water heater models.
Though the cost of a new environmentally efficient tank and professional water heater installation will be higher than that of a traditional water heater, it is worth it. You'll recoup the added cost and then some as time progresses. You might even recoup the difference in cost of an efficient hot water tank compared to a cheaper model in merely two years.
High-Efficiency Tank Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are one of your most environmentally friendly options for a water heater. However, if you don’t want to go the tankless water heater route, you can still do so in an environmentally-friendly manner. Opt for a high-efficiency water storage tank that is ENERGY STAR certified, and you will save a bundle of money while doing the environment a big favor. ENERGY STAR-certified tank water heaters use about 10% less energy than traditional water heaters. Add up the savings for a household with four individuals across the water heater’s service life, and you will find you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Keep in mind, water heater design and technology continue to improve. That means newer energy-efficient models have the potential to last upwards of an entire decade or longer. Add in the fact that ENERGY STAR water heaters prevent 10 billion pounds or more of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, and there is even more reason to take the energy-efficient route.
Uniform Energy Factor (UEF)
High-efficiency water heaters have superior UEF ratings. UEF is an acronym short for uniform energy factor. To be considered ENERGY STAR rated, the unit needs to have a UEF rating of .67 or above to qualify for a rebate.
For example, a high-efficiency hybrid water heater will likely have a higher UEF rating than a traditional gas or electric water heater. It looks even better if you consider that standard electric heaters cost around $450-500 a year to run, gas are $200-300, and typical hybrid (or heat pump) water heaters run at about $150-180 a year. If you aim to reduce your home utility costs and benefit the environment, it is in your interest to choose a water heater with a high UEF rating.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump water heaters are an excellent choice when you have the environment in mind. If you’re interested in getting a heat pump water heater, I recommend reading our article ”Everything You Need To Know About Heat Pump (Or Hybrid) Water Heater”.
A house that lacks access to a source of natural gas can still warm water in an energy-efficient manner with the right heat pump. Heat pump water heaters use less electricity than standard electric water heaters, ultimately helping to decrease our environmentally costly reliance on fossil fuels, including coal. Furthermore, heat pump water heaters are also favorable as they generate fewer emissions that compromise the environment than conventional water heaters.
Water heaters featuring compressors that trap heat from outside are highly efficient, especially when designed with auxiliary immersion heating technology. Such a component is designed to automatically activate when household members use hot water at a high frequency, ensuring there will be sufficient water for an entire house full of people.
Take the Tankless Route
Tankless water heaters are greener than conventional hot water tanks as they do not run at nearly the same frequency. The reduction in operation time ultimately makes tankless water heaters highly efficient and green. Opt for a tankless water heater, and you’ll enjoy an unlimited supply of hot water while reducing your energy bills and helping the environment.
If you’re looking to learn more about tankless water heaters, check out our blogs “Benefits of A Tankless Water Heater Over a Tank Water Heater” and “The Complete Guide To Choosing A Tankless Water Heater”. These tools will equip you to choose the right tankless water heater for your home.
Green Water Heater Installation
Though there are some how-to water heater installation guides on the internet, the average person will struggle to perform a sufficient installation that proves reliable for years to come. Unless you have a plumber’s permit, it is not in your interest to attempt water heater installation. Instead, lean on an experienced plumber to find the eco-friendly water heater best for your home and perform professional water heater installation on your behalf.
If you’re in our service area, please contact us, and we’d be happy to discuss the most eco-friendly water heater options for your home.