Storage water heaters are developing a bad reputation, probably because they can be responsible for about 25 percent of the energy use in the average Canadian household. However, technology advances quickly in the home comfort industry, and high-efficiency storage water heaters can now outperform conventional models as much as 40 percent.
High-efficiency storage water heaters can operate off of traditional fuel sources, like gas, oil and electricity. When shopping around, make sure to ask about advanced features, such as:
- Extra insulation. A major source of energy loss in storage tanks occurs when heat transfers directly through the “jacket”.
- A highly-efficient heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is where fuel is actually combusted or converted into usable heat. In older systems, it can be an inefficient process that results in energy loss. High-efficiency storage water heaters preserve more heat than their counterparts.
- Heat traps. These allow cold water into the tank, but prevent heated water from flowing back out.
Some advanced features are specific to oil- or gas-fired models:
- Electric ignition features that save gas and reduce concerns associated with pilot lights.
- Improved design of the flue baffle and vent in high-efficiency storage water heaters can provide enhanced control. It can also reduce heat loss through the vent.
- Condensing heat exchangers capture the heat energy from water vapor that is produced when fuel is combusted. In conventional systems, this energy is lost.
Remember, simply installing a high-efficiency storage water heater doesn’t guarantee peak performance. You should always keep up with maintenance, and be sure to completely drain the tank once a year or so. This helps flush the system of built-up sediment, which can impede the performance of the drain valve, and the system’s overall efficiency.
For more information on storage water heaters, contact Arpi’s Industries. We’re proud to serve Calgary area homeowners.
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 storage water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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