ABC 10 News warned homeowners that the Department of Energy's new Energy Factor requirements for water heaters, set to come into effect on April 16, will have a big impact on the types of water heaters available for purchase. Traditional water heaters will have to be upgraded with condensers, heat pumps and extra insulation to make them efficient enough to comply with the government's new standard. These design changes will make tank-style heaters more expensive, more difficult to fit into home interiors and likely push additional installation costs onto consumers.
The great lengths to which traditional water heater manufacturers are going to make their products compliant highlights just how inefficient tank-style water heaters are in the first place. By contrast, some tankless water heaters are so efficiently built that they their design remains unchanged despite the DOE's requires for water heaters with higher Energy Factors. If homeowners are in search for a water heater that can help them reduce their footprint, going tankless is the right choice.
On-demand design counters heat loss
One of the major problems that manufacturers must overcome to meet the DOE's new standards is how to reduce the rapid heat loss that afflicts traditional water heater. These models burn fuel to keep hot water ready in the tank, but heat is constantly escaping the confines of the water heater and being lost to the environment. As a result, traditional style tanks spend much of their fuel reheating stored water that is slowly dropping in temperature, ramping up utility costs for homeowners.
Tankless water heaters eliminate this waste by design, heating water instantly when homeowners use hot water in the home. The Tennessean reported that this design helps make tankless water heaters up to 34 percent more efficient than conventional models.
Compact build facilitates water waste reduction
In addition to making installation quicker and more cost-effective, the small profile of tankless heaters can help a household reduce water waste as well. Traditional water heaters are typically stored in a basement or garage, forcing hot water to travel through several feet of home plumbing before reaching the point of use. All the water resting in the pipes is wasted down the drain as users wait for hot water to arrive.
Tankless water heaters are small enough to be installed as close as possible to the home's points of use. By reducing the distance that hot water has to travel through the home, residents can subsequently reduce water use on a daily basis.
Long service life minimizes replacements
Having to replace a water heater over and over is an expensive problem, and one that makes the home's plumbing less efficient with each new installation. Tankless water heaters have been known to last for over 20 years, eliminating the need for homeowners to replace their water heaters multiple times. Some tankless water heaters are built with future efficiency standards in mind, ensuring that consumers won't have to replace their heater as stingier regulations make their way through Washington. Investing in the greenest water heater option now may help you avoid the need to upgrade your water heater to meet the next round of tighter standards. Mother Earth News pointed out that the investment will boost the resale value of your home as well.
"An investment in green tankless water heaters can boost the resale value of your home."
Precise temperature controls replace thermometers
The efficiency of traditional water heaters can fluctuate widely depending on where the appliance's thermometer is set. Unfortunately, this imprecise means of controlling the water heater's temperature makes it difficult for homeowners to identify the efficiency sweet spot. High-end tankless water heaters have advanced temperature controls built into their construction, ensuring that users always get with 1 degree of their desired temperature. Greater comfort will mean less fiddling with the water heater's settings and more efficient performance by the appliance.