When you’re shopping around for a new water heater, you’re getting ready to make an investment that will affect your energy bills for many years. You may not realize it, but water heating is responsible for a larger percentage of your home energy expenses than anything besides heating and cooling your air.
Take the time to estimate the energy efficiency of a variety of new water heaters before you select one:
- Find the EnergyGuide label. The yellow label on the side of each new water heater lists the estimated costs of operating the unit in a typical year, energy-saving features, capacity and other important information.
- Know the energy factor (EF). The EF tells you how much hot water the model produces for each unit of fuel it consumes in a typical day. This value is useful for comparing similar products once you have narrowed your options.
- Size your model correctly. Make an hour-by-hour chart of each hot-water dependent activity your family performs during a typical day. Then refer to the manual that came with each faucet, showerhead, washing machine, etc. and add the required flow rates together. The hours with the highest projected usage represent the maximum flow rate your home needs. With this information, you can buy a model with correct capacity rather than over-sizing, which is inefficient, and undersizing, which will leave you with cold water.
- Factor in fuel costs. Increased efficiency is great but you need to keep it in context. Check the rates you’re paying for gas and electricity, then plug these rates in to help you understand how much it will actually cost to operate the model.
- Apply these values to your home. Consider your household hot water usage. For example, if a given model is much more efficient but also much more expensive than another, it would probably make sense for a large family but may not be worth the additional investment for households that don’t require as much hot water.
To make sure you select the right new water heater for your home, contact Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. With more than 40 years of service to greater Indianapolis, we have the expertise to help maximize your savings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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