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The Ultimate Hot Water Heater Guide

August 06, 2010

There are dozens of types of hot water heaters out there. Some models offer customers ease of use and years of reliable service. Others will make your home a more environmentally friendly place and will save you hundreds of dollars on your water bill over time. It’s important, therefore, that you familiarize yourself with the basics of hot water heaters and the models that are available for installation in residential homes.

The Most Important Hot Water Heater Basics

It is important that you properly maintain your hot water heater. A water heater has three basic parts:

  1. The enclosure
  2. The tank assembly
  3. The burner and control assembly

The enclosure holds everything together and protects the tank and other fragile parts from damage. The water tank stores water that arrives cold and leaves heated. The burner and control assembly are responsible for heating the water, discharging combustion gases, and adjusting the temperature. (Instead of a burner, an electric water heater has one or two electric heating elements.)

How to Regularly Maintain Your Hot Water Heater

The care and maintenance of an electric and gas water heater are similar. To care for your water heater, follow these suggestions:

  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove the sediment and sludge buildup that can impede heat transfer and thus reduce your water heater’s efficiency.
  • Make sure also to have your hot water heater checked for rust, which can corrode metal and cause leaks.

The type of water tank you have determines the sort of maintenance you’ll need to practice. Make sure then to follow the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your water heater.

Environmentally Friendly Hot Water Heaters

If you want to make your home a more energy-efficient place, consider installing a new heat pump water heating system. A heat pump hot water system has been designed with maximum energy efficiency in mind because it operates on the following principles:

  • The hybrid functionality between heat pump elements and standard electric elements ensures the best of both worlds for your household.
  • The heater uses either a compressor or an evaporator to draw ambient heat from the surrounding air and then transfers that heat via coils into the tank to heat the water.
  • If the water heater determines that faster temperature recovery is in order, it cycles on the standard electric heating elements.

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Tankless hot water heating systems present a second “green” option. Tankless hot water heating systems heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Tankless water heaters are far more energy efficient, because tankless hot water heaters avoid the standby heat losses associated with conventional storage water heaters. That’s because tankless hot water heaters only heat water when it’s required, which reduces energy consumption by ten to 15 percent.

Consider Solar Powered Hot Water Heaters

A solar powered hot water heating system is typically comprised of four main units: solar thermal collectors, a water storage tank (or another point of usage), interconnecting pipes, and a fluid system to move heat from the collector to the tank.

There are numerous benefits to installing a solar powered hot water heating system in your home. Here are just five of them:

  1. Solar powered hot water heating systems can work in any climate
  2. Solar powered hot water heating systems last up to 40 years
  3. Solar powered hot water heating systems might qualify a home for a substantial tax credit
  4. Solar powered hot water heating systems will increase the value of your home
  5. Solar powered hot water heating systems come in a variety of styles, so a household can choose the right system for their needs

Four Tips For Reducing Your Water Heating Bill

It pays to have an energy efficient hot water heater installed in your residence. Water heating is a considerable energy expense for the typical American household. Indeed heating water accounts for roughly 13 percent of a household’s utility bill. Take the following steps to reduce your water heating bill:

  •  Use less hot water by taking shorter showers and baths
  •  Turn down the thermostat on your water heater
  •  Insulate your water heater with materials designed to make it more efficient
  •  Invest in a new, more energy efficient water heater

What’s more, if you install a more energy efficient water heater, you may qualify you for a government rebate. So you save money on your energy bills, reduce your federal tax burden, and save the environment -- all at the same time!

Hire a Professional Plumber

More and more homes are being built or retrofitted for the latest designs in hot water heaters. Homes that choose environmentally friendly hot water heaters are reducing the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels by minimizing their carbon footprint. Solar powered and tankless hot water heating systems are the perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint and to make your home an environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and economical space. Any of the latest designs in hot water heating systems can meet your household’s needs. That’s why you should contact your local plumbing specialist to find out which hot water heating system is right for your household.

A hot water heating system is best installed by a plumbing specialist. Only a plumbing specialist can ensure your hot water heating system is correctly installed and working properly. So call your local plumbing professional today and ask about the latest innovations in hot water heating systems.

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