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Are Hot Water Tanks Energy-Efficient?

Energy-efficient appliances have become incredibly popular in recent years. Whether you are thinking of renovating or updating your home appliances, it’s always a good idea to research the energy efficiency of the products you are looking for. Hot water tanks are a type of residential heater that can be energy efficient. There are also new tankless water heaters that are known for their energy-efficient and space-saving qualities. Learn more about residential water heaters to decide which is best for your home. 

What is a Hot Water Tank? 

Hot water tanks are used to keep the water in your home warm and ready for use. They are simply used to heat the water you use every day, whether it is in cooking, laundry, or showers, hot water tanks are an essential part of your home. There are two common types of water heaters, tankless water heaters, and units that include tanks. In general, tankless water heaters are considered more energy efficient.

Hot Water Tanks

Hot water tanks take water from your residential cold water supply and heat the water, storing it at a certain temperature, ready for use when needed. They are usually fuelled by gas or electricity. Hot water tanks heat water at a constant rate, so there is always a supply of warm water ready when needed. 

Tankless Water Heaters 

Tankless water heaters are an innovative new way to heat water in the home, without wasting energy. These energy-efficient water heaters heat water on demand, so there is no need for a large tank of water. Tankless water heaters heat instantly. You never have to worry about running out of warm water, due to this heating on-demand feature. They can use more energy to heat water quickly, however, when the hot water is no longer in use, they do not need to continue heating, using less energy overall. 

Energy-Efficient Water Heaters

In recent years, there has been more of a focus on energy-efficient appliances. Many homeowners are shifting to environmentally friendly features, to lower their impact on the environment. Energy-efficient appliances are also an excellent way to save money on electricity and hydro bills. 

Tankless water heaters are the most energy-efficient types of heaters. They can be 24-34% more energy-efficient than traditional water tanks. 

However, some modern water tanks come with improved tank insulation which helps reduce the amount of heat that escapes from the tank. Natural Resources Canada has created a helpful list of energy-efficient features to watch for when you are looking for a new hot water tank. 

Energy Efficient Guidelines in Canada

The Government of Canada created several informative guidelines for Canadians, to help determine the energy efficiency ratings of their home appliances. In the complete water heater guide, they note:

“ENERGY STAR is the international symbol of premium energy efficiency. Look for products that display the ENERGY STAR symbol. They have been tested according to prescribed procedures and meet or exceed high energy efficiency levels without compromising performance. ” (Natural Resources of Canada, Water Heater Guide.) If you are unsure whether or not a water heater is energy-efficient, look for the Energy Star label. 

There is also an excellent resource that helps Canadians search the EnerGuide label on household appliances. It is optional for manufacturers to display the EnerGuide information for water heating appliances, but when you see both the Energy Star and EnerGuide rating, you can make a more informed decision about the energy efficiency of the appliance. 

A simple maintenance check can help to ensure that your water heating appliances are running at their maximal performance. Old, poorly functioning water heaters can waste energy and end up costing you more money. If you are looking to learn more about energy-efficient hot water tanks in Vancouver, or you think it’s time for a maintenance check, contact our team of knowledgable staff to learn more about what’s right for your home.

Hot Water Tanks, Boilers & Tankless Heaters

It is easy to confuse hot water tanks with boilers, they are very similar residential appliances. Many clients ask about the differences between water tanks, tankless water heaters, and boilers, with regards to energy-efficiency. There are some key differences between these appliances. 

Hot water tanks are used to heat all of the water used in your home whereas boilers heat the house itself. Boilers are a type of radiant heating system. They distribute heat throughout your home via pipes. Boilers can be multi-purpose and heat both the home, as well as your hot water. 

In recent years, the tankless water heater was introduced. It is used to heat water on demand. This means that it does not require a large tank to store warm water, it simply heats water when it is needed. This is considered far more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters and boilers because energy is not being used at a constant rate to keep the water in the tank or boiler warm. On top of being energy-efficient, tankless water heaters are also compact and save space in your home.

If your water heater is older and you are looking to replace it with a more energy-efficient model, Consumer Reports has created a helpful water heater buying guide to help you decide on which heater is right for you. 

Visit Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating 

At Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating, our team of talented plumbing and heating professionals, are always available to help answer questions you may have about hot water tanks and energy-efficient appliances. We provide maintenance, repair, and installation of hot water tanks in Greater Vancouver, as well as 24/7 emergency plumbing service. We service Vancouver as well as the lower mainland, including Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam. Contact Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating today to learn more about energy-efficient hot water tanks.

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