Published on March 31st, 2009 | by Reenita Malhotra3
How to Find an Eco-Friendly Water Heater
You may not realize it but water heating is probably one of the largest domestic energy expenses on your utility bill. By replacing your old electric hot water system with a new gas or solar powered system, you will do wonders to reduce your carbon footprint and your monthly costs.
When you look for a water heater, it is best to look for one that is ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR criteria for water heaters cover five residential product categories: high-performance gas storage; whole-house gas tankless; advanced drop-in or integrated heat pump; solar; and gas condensing.
According to Department of Energy (DOE) projections, after being in effect for five years, the new water heater criteria are expected to save Americans approximately $780 million in utility costs, avoid 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and achieve cumulative energy savings of more than 3.9 kilowatt-hours and 270 million therms of natural gas. Water heating currently represents up to 17 percent of national residential energy consumption, making it the third-largest energy user in homes, behind heating and cooling and kitchen appliances.
Brands such as Bosch (Aquastar), Rheem and Eccotemp offer ENERGY STAR-compliant, tankless models which are eligible for 2009 federal tax credits. Rheem has also just released its brand new solar water heating systems that qualify for ENERGY STAR, with a regional introduction on the West Coast and in the South, followed by a national rollout.
So, whether you’re replacing a worn-out existing water heater or looking for the best model for a new house you’re building, you will be wise to choose carefully. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is a great resource for understanding the ins and outs of water heating.