Cost-cutting is always a priority in corporate environments, and many daily costs can be reduced through long-term investments. The purchase of a new high-performance printer, for example, could help reduce spending at local print shops for the production of sales materials and employee documents. Companies can likewise free up more of their budget by replacing aging utilities with waste-reducing upgrades. New HVAC, lighting and water heating systems represent an opportunity to make an office more sustainable and less costly to operate. Water heater upgrades are particularly ideal because next-generation units are exceptionally efficient.
Review energy factor
A smart way to begin the process of evaluating the performance of your current water heater is by reviewing its energy factor, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The EF value of your heater should be clearly posted on the side of the appliance, and the value acts as a snapshot of the overall performance of your water heater. The value takes into account how successfully the water heater transfers heat to water, the percentage of how much heat is lost from the tank while being stored and the amount of heat wasted by the movement of water through the tank.
Standard storage water heater tanks score an average EF of .65, while energy-efficient tankless water heaters deliver a minimum EF of .90, says the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. High-end tankless units, like industry-leading models from Eemax, boast an EF of .99. Energy factor isn't the only number to consider when evaluating new water heaters for your office, but the number can make it easy to quickly compare the performance of two water heaters.
Calculate operating expenses
The next step in upgrading water heaters is to determine the performance needs of your office space. Start by calculating the cost of operation for your current water heater. This value can be reached by multiplying the daily unit cost of operation by the total number of days in a year, then dividing that value by the product of energy factor and cost of fuel. This value, in addition to cost of any maintenance that might need to be performed, is the annual cost of operation for that water heater. This simple formula can also be used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of a new tankless water heater. Simply input the corresponding energy factor and the potential savings become clear.
Tankless water heaters are also built to last twice as long as regular water heaters and are designed so they do not require routine flushing maintenance. If your company decides to sell its current facility, then tankless water heaters could be leveraged to boost the building's sale price. Since tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years, they have great potential for long-term savings. Thankfully, energy factor values make it easy to make useful cost of operation estimates.