Most water heaters are prone to standby losses, which can cause homeowners to pay more in energy costs. In order to recoup as much savings as possible, it’s necessary to reduce these standby losses. In fact, with water heating contributing to 20 percent of the average household’s total energy budget, taking steps to impact savings here can add up over the months and years.
Standby losses generally occur with water heaters because conventional tank systems require that a large body of water be kept warm and ready for use. However, the difference in the temperature of the air around the tank and the water in the tank can cause energy to be lost. Larger capacity water tanks also tend to be less efficient than smaller tanks, because they have an overall larger surface area. Inefficient insulation can also increase or reduce standby losses.
The good news is that homeowners can affect change in energy losses with just a few simple steps:
- Insulate the water heater – You can purchase a water heater blanket, but be careful to avoid covering controls, vents and combustion portions of the system. You can also buy a pre-sized thermal jacket, which will fit snugly around your particular model.
- Use a heat trap – This device stops hot water from escaping up into the pipes.
- Insulate pipes – When you can decrease the difference in air-to-surface temperatures, your system will lose less energy as it travels through your pipes. Pipe insulation is generally easy to install, and it should have an R-value of at least 4.
- Insulate the floor – To reduce energy lost through the bottom of the water heater, you can install rigid insulation underneath the tank.
Ideally, you should have a professional HVAC technician perform these energy-saving steps; however, if you feel confident doing the tasks yourself, have a contractor evaluate the work to ensure your family’s safety.
By performing a few simple upgrades to water heaters, homeowners can expect water-heating systems to continue to provide comfortable and convenient service without sacrificing energy savings. Contact the experts at Arpi’s Industriesfor help today!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulating your water heater and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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