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Ambient Air Solutions Blog

Water Heater Efficiency: What To Look For

We’re always talking about HVAC efficiency on this blog and hopefully by now, you’ve learned how doing a bit of research on a new system can save you money when you opt for higher efficiency. Sure, that initial cost may be a little higher, but you’ll reap the rewards of saving money across the lifespan of the heater or air conditioner.

Well, something that’s not as well known is the fact that water heaters vary in efficiency ratings too. You may not think it’s as important as the efficiency of your HVAC systems, but consider this:  your water heater accounts for almost 18% of your home’s energy expenditures!

That’s why it pays to do some research when deciding on a new water heater. Read on to learn what you need to know. Then contact us if you have any follow-up questions about water heater service in Gallatin County, MT.

Type of Water Heater

The type of water heater you purchase is the first factor you should consider if you desire an energy-efficient unit.

  • Tank water heaters: Also called conventional or storage water heaters, these keep a tank or reservoir of hot water ready. As you can imagine, this requires energy use 24/7 as the water is constantly being heated. Generally considered less energy-efficient than tankless, there are features you can choose to increase energy efficiency.
  • Tankless water heaters: Also called on-demand water heaters, they heat water “on demand” without the use of a storage tank. Because water is heated only as you need it, these use a lot less energy than their tank counterparts. According to the DOE, they can be 24-34% more efficient.

Energy Star Ratings

An easy way to select an energy-efficient water heater is to choose an ENERGY STAR-certified model. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants the ENERGY STAR label to water heaters that use less energy. You may even qualify for tax credits for buying ENERGY STAR products. The rating is based on the water heater’s uniform energy factor (UEF) rating. 

A water heater’s UEF rating is a measure of its energy efficiency. The higher the UEF number, the more energy-efficient the water heater. Similar to AFUE ratings for furnaces, the UEF rating is based on how much energy the water heater uses and how much energy is used to power the water heater itself.

Here are the minimum UEF ratings for a water heater to earn ENERGY-STAR approval.

  • Gas tank water heater (up to 55 gallons) must have a minimum UEF of 0.81
  • Gas tank water heater ( 55+ gallons) must have a minimum UEF of 0.86
  • Gas tankless water heater must have a minimum UEF of 0.87

Proper Sizing

Sizing a water heater for a home is a much more complicated process than you’d think. That’s why it’s best to rely on a team with the knowledge and experience installing water heaters. For homeowners seeking an eco-friendly water heater, we can advise you on the best model for your home and provide expert installation.

Contact Ambient Air Solutions today for professional water heater services in Gallatin County, MT. Simplifying Heating & Cooling!

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