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electric water heater in low power consumption mode
December 23, 2022

Cooking, cleaning, and bathing all require the use of hot water, and all that water can really add up. Especially when you are using an inefficient hot water heater! According to the Department of Energy, hot water heating amounts to about 18% of the average home’s energy use, often because it takes a lot of electricity or fuel to heat a heating element for as long as it takes to warm up the water in a large tank. 

So how do different hot water heating methods stack up, and how much energy do they require to keep your home running smoothly?

Tanked Hot Water Heaters

The water heaters many of us are used to look like giant metal cylinders hidden away in a closet or in the garage. These tanked water heaters heat the water inside a storage tank, and when the tank is emptied of its hot water supply it is refilled and reheated.

Natural Gas

Combustion hot water heaters use an open flame to heat the water in the tank. The efficiency of a natural gas hot water heater is measured by its efficiency factor, which measures how much fuel is actually turned into heat. Natural gas water heater efficiency factors can range from .5 to .7, meaning anywhere from 30% to 50% of the gas used in a natural gas water heater goes to waste, requiring you to pay for more fuel to heat your water.

Electric Resistance

In an electric resistance water heater, a metal heating element is heated using electricity, which heats up the water in a storage tank. The efficiency factor in electric resistance water heaters is generally higher than other water heating methods, coming in at a range of .7 to .95.  

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Another all-electric type of water heater is a heat pump water heater. These utilize the same energy-efficient process as a heat pump or mini split but put it to use heating a water tank. Heat pumps water heaters absorb the ambient heat in the atmosphere, and use it to heat the water you need. Heat pump water heaters are two to three times more efficient than electric resistance water heaters, and there is virtually no energy waste when compared to natural gas water heaters. 

Heat pump water heaters also qualify for federal and state rebates and incentives, making them more affordable while also reducing your ongoing water heating costs. 

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Tankless and on-demand water heaters utilize a combustion heat source but provide the hot water you need exactly when you need it. No more wasting hot water, reheating the same tank multiple times, or waiting for the tank to refill—a tankless water heater warms your hot water the moment you turn the faucet or showerhead on.

Reduce Your Hot Water Energy Usage 

Costs associated with water heating will vary from home to home, depending on the heating method, fuel and electricity prices, and individual home habits. But if you are hoping to reduce the amount of energy (and money) it takes to keep hot water running through your plumbing, consider installing a heat pump water heater or tankless hot water heater in your East Bay area home. Hassler Heating and AC can assist you in determining the best, most efficient approach to your water heater replacement, and can even help you with regular maintenance after your new system is installed!

Is your water heater costing you too much each month? Upgrade your water heater and downgrade your energy bills with Hassler. Call (510) 296-3231 or contact us online.

Looking for more tips on how to increase your home comfort?



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