|Home ownership guide: Hybrid water heaters cut energy use in half|
|Thursday, 03 March 2011 10:40|
Brought to you by Scotiabank
One of the newest developments towards energy savings for your home is the hybrid hot water heater. They represent one of the best ways to save on electricity, cutting bills in half!
Most people don’t give much thought to that big tank stuffed in the closet or garage somewhere in your house. But that water heater is running 24 hours a day creating a large chuck of your energy bill, next to the air-conditioner.
A revolution in hot water heaters has taken over in the past year and although only a few models are currently available, they are making a big impact.
For example, the Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater, used in the Highland Estates community in Wheeland, features a heat pump technology that makes it over twice as efficient as standard electric water heaters. That means if your annual energy cost for hot water is around $2268, you could save as much as $1134 per year.
So how does it work?
It’s generally easier to move something than to make something. Putting that principle to use, heat pump water heater (HPWH) technology uses electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.
Hybrid heat pump water heaters work much like a refrigerator in reverse. The heat pump extracts the heat from warm air circulating around the unit, intensifies the heat with a compressor, delivers the heat to the water inside the unit, and exhausts the cooler air. Because it uses the warm ambient air temperature to do most of the work, it is a very efficient way to heat water – and cool the surrounding at the same time.
The Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater, like others, also offers additional settings to increase the savings.
The most energy efficient setting is Energy Saver mode, it works by extracting energy from the surrounding warmer air, concentrating the heat, and delivering it to the water. This mode provides an industry leading 2.0 energy factor (EF) and a first hour delivery comparable to a standard 50 gallon electric model.
When hot water demands are high, use the High Demand setting. In this mode both the heat pump and electric element will operate as needed. The High Demand mode will provide a remarkable 1.5 EF and a first hour delivery in excess of a standard 65 gallon electric model.
A temporary Electric Heat Only setting is available to ensure hot water availability without operating the heat pump. The water heater will revert back to Energy Saver operation after two weeks, if not reset by the user.
Another water heating technology that is less efficient than the hybrid system, but has the advantage of requiring very little space in your home is the tankless hot water heater. The unit heats water as it flows through it rather than storing the heated water in a tank.
While the tankless system is about 20-40% more efficient than conventional hot water heaters, the hybrid electric water heaters are more than twice as efficient than conventional systems.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:04|
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