When you run your dishwasher, take a shower or wash your clothes, most of the heat in the hot water used is flushed down the drain and wasted. One way of reducing your energy bills is to reuse this wasted heat with a drain water heat recovery system.
How They Work
There are two types of heat recovery systems, one with storage capacity and one without. A recovery system can be incorporated with just about any type of water heater.
Typically you will benefit from having some storage capacity if you often take warm baths or use a lot of hot water elsewhere. In these types of systems the warm water that comes down the drain heats cold water in a reservoir tank that can then be drawn from as needed.
In a non-storage system, cold water is pumped through a series of pipes in a coil formation around your water drain pipe in order to extract heat from the hot water after it leaves the system. The now-heated water is then used or passed back to your water heater.
The Benefits of Heat Recovery Systems
The obvious benefit is that you will save money on your heating bills. Because they have a relatively inexpensive installation cost, typically less than $1000, you can expect to have a payback time of under a decade, or much less if you regularly use hot water.
A secondary benefit of these systems is that you reduce the effort that your water heater must expend to keep up with your water needs. Less wear and tear will lead to a smaller chance of needing repairs and a longer lifespan.
If you would like to find out if a drain water heat recovery system will benefit your Calgary home, call the experts at Arpi’s Industries. We have served the city for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock