When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.
Newer water heaters will likely be more efficient than their predecessors, but there are still some modifications you can make to make them work even better. From additional components that give you more control to adding insulation to selecting a different model, all these options will help ensure you get the very most from your new water heater.
Add a Timer
Even with new water heaters, there is often lost energy in the form of heat dissipation. Every so often your tank will need to turn back on to keep the water inside at a stable temperature even if none of it has been used. This is useful for making sure you have plenty of hot water reliably on hand, but it does mean your heater will also be keeping water hot during hours you may not need it, such as overnight.
If you have long periods in your schedule where you don't need hot water, you can have a timer installed with your new water heater that will tell it to only run between certain hours. For example, you can set the timer so that your water heater will start to run about an hour before you wake up in the morning, ensuring you have hot water for showers, but without the energy loss from running all night. Talk to your plumber to see about having a timer installed along with your new water heater.
While water heaters come with their insulation, you can usually add insulation to your water pipes themselves as well to great effect. Even if you only decide to have parts of your pipes insulated, this can help make sure that water stays warmer in your pipes for a longer duration.
Tanks themselves are generally pretty well insulated, but they may benefit from some kind of insulation as well. You can sometimes tell by placing your hand on the tank; if it feels warm, this means heat is being lost and that insulation can help keep more of that heat inside. Benefiting from tank insulation is more circumstantial, but it's worth asking your plumber about.
Buy a Tankless Water Heater
If you have a flexible budget, it might be worth asking your plumber about a tankless water heater. The biggest benefit to these is that they don't store any water, so there's nothing to spend energy on to keep warm. They also only run when you use hot water, and otherwise stay on standby, which means your passive energy loss will be very low compared to tank heaters.
There are some potential downsides. For instance, if you live in a house with several other people or where multiple appliances are using hot water at the same time, your water heater may have a tough time keeping up with demand. They also typically have a higher up-front cost. However, their efficiency, combined with possible rebates and other incentives, may make it a worthwhile purchase, so ask your plumber if a tankless heater might be a good fit for your household.Share