What is the most efficient source of hot water for your home?
Based on a recent study from the CMHC, comparing gas fired on-demand hot water heaters and conventional hot water holding tanks, the on demand water heaters proved to be the most cost effective using 46% less energy.
Although clearly the way to go for long term efficiency and energy savings there are some downsides when selecting on on demand over conventional tanks:
1. It is possible that the use of hot water becomes excessive and possibly wasteful with the notion that there is unlimited hot water.
2. If an on demand hot water heater is vented out the sidewall of a home (instead of the roof) and is in close proximity to a neighbouring house, there will be significant damage to the neighbours house over the long term.
3. The biggest concern raised by consumers from on-demand is the time it takes for the hot water to reach you when you turn on the tap. It can take up to 20 seconds for hot water to be supplied depending on the location of the heater and where the water is being delivered. There are solutions to this problem. Such as installing small holding tanks or recirculating pumps that supply you with warm water instantly before the on-demand hot water reaches you. Although, perfecting a system to match that of a conventional hot water tanks can be challenging, especially in larger homes.
4. Cost. A conventional, insulated 60 gallon tank can be purchased and installed for approximately $500 whereas an on demand tank including venting through the roof will be in the $2,000 range.
If a hot water tank is still your chosen method to heat your hot water, ensure that you properly insulate the tank and the lines to prevent as much heat loss as possible. This will go a long way in conserving energy.
Other economical ways to greatly conserve energy when heating your hot water include solar hot water heating, and hot water recovery systems. Stay posted for future posts on these complimentary and alternative methods.