People say time is money, but considering how many years it takes for oil, natural gas, coal, and other conventional sources to develop in the earth, energy is much more valuable than time. As these conventional sources of energy continue to get used up at high rates, it is growing ever more apparent that energy is not something to be wasted. Homeowners are starting to do all sorts of things to cut back on energy costs, but one good place to start is with the water heater. Water heaters may be gas or electric, but either way you are paying for those resources each month, and fortunately there are plenty of options to improve efficiency.
Most water heaters have a tank, but tankless or demand water heaters are quite a bit more efficient. Rather than keeping an entire tank of water hot all day, regardless of whether you need it or not, a tankless system only heats water as needed. This means that for the majority of the day, the water heater is using little to no energy at all. Unfortunately, tankless units have downsides as well. The biggest downside is that the heater can’t provide enough hot water for multiple uses at once.
If you don’t want to replace your tank water heater, you might consider installing a timer to conserve energy. A timer is a small device that you can set to only provide power to your water heater during certain parts of the day. If you don’t want to waste energy keeping several gallons of hot water warm during the middle of the night, the timer can be adjusted to prevent that. This device is inexpensive and easy to install.
Hybrid water heaters are a combination of tank and tankless systems, and offer the best of both worlds. These hybrid systems have a tank, but it is much smaller than regular system tanks and usually only holds a few gallons. In a low-flow situation, the water heater acts like a regular tank system, but when high-flow is needed for multiple applications it heats water as needed, like a demand system.
Whether you choose to call a plumber or Roto-Rooter in Chicago to replace your old, energy guzzling water heater, or you simply install an energy-saving timer, you will be reaping the rewards for years to come. Not only will your energy bills shrink, but you can pat yourself on the back for living a more sustainable lifestyle.