Raising The Efficiency on Water Heating

When focusing on making your home more energy efficient, savvy homeowners take aim at their air conditioning unit first. That’s a smart thing to do. But what appliance should be next in line for improvement? You guessed it: your water heater.

Most homeowners in the Tampa area have a standard electric water heater with 40, 50, or 80 gallon capacity depending on the size of the home. Some homeowners are option for the tankless style water heaters. Check back on the 23rd of January for lots of information on those units.

For now, let’s discuss efficiency of those standard, tried-and-true electric, tank style water heaters. Simply put, there’s no way to make them super efficient, but you can help make the one you have work to its fullest potential. First, make sure your anode rod is not disintegrated and if it is replace it with a new one. This keeps the metal parts from corroding over time and extends the longevity of the water heater. Next, ask yourself this question: when was the last time the water heater was drained and cleared of sediment? Most homeowners answer that question with: “that needs to be done?” Yes, it does! Our Florida water is hard, which means it contains lots of minerals; minerals that build up in your tank and collect on the heating elements making the heater work harder to bring your water to an acceptable temperature.

If you’re an MVP member with Bayonet, this is a routine maintenance job that is included as part of the annual plumbing inspection. If you’ve never had it done, give your water heater some attention soon! Your wallet will thank you when you pay your next power bill.

If your water heater has reached the end of its life span and you’re shopping for a new one, heat pump water heaters are the most efficient available in a standard tank-style heater. They employ a small compressor that blows cool air out of the top of the unit, and the waste energy actually heats the water. It’s a great side benefit, as most water heaters are in garages and everyone in the garage benefits from a little cool down!

As a GE factory authorized dealer, we’re big fans of the GE heat pump water heater. It’s 10-year parts warranty shows consumers how much GE believes in it. It only comes in a 50 gallon tall model presently.

If you’ve recently replaced a tank style heater and didn’t know about this technology, you can still employ it thanks to the retro-fitted Air Tap, which converts the standard electric water heater into a heat pump with relative ease. We tested the Air Tap by installing it in an employee’s barn. She gets plenty of hot water, even on very cold days, and never even hooked the power up to the water heater. The beauty of the Air Tap–and all heat pump water heaters, for that matter–is how very little energy they use to heat water!

If you’re upgrading appliances this year, the water heater is a great place to focus!

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