Gas Water HeatersWith so many options, there’s bound to be an efficient water heater that’s right for you.
The type of water heater that’s right for you is often based on conditions in your home. Whatever water heater you choose, make sure to look for a higher efficiency option within that category. A water heater’s efficiency is often rated by its Energy Factor (EF). EF is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. A higher EF means the system is more efficient.
Indirect Water Heaters
An indirect water heater circulates water through a heat exchanger in your existing boiler. This heated water then flows to an insulated storage tank. When an indirect water heater is used with a highly efficient boiler, the combination may provide one of the least expensive methods of water heating.
Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater (also called an on-demand water heater) heats water as it’s requested, rather than preheating and storing it. Because of this, it doesn’t have the standby efficiency losses of a storage water heater and never runs out of hot water. However, its flow rate is limited, so one tankless water heater may not be able to handle multiple simultaneous uses. Look for an EF of at least 0.82.
Condensing Water Heaters
A condensing water heater functions similarly to a condensing boiler, trapping heat from exhaust before it escapes. It is highly efficient but will also require venting and drainage. Look for an efficiency of at least 95 percent.
Storage Water Heaters
A storage water heater preheats water and stores it in a tank. Despite improvements in insulation, storage water heaters are the least efficient option for most people. Look for an ENERGY STAR® storage water heater, which will have an EF of at least 0.67.
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