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Energy Star Water Heater

According to Energy Star,

water heating is the third largest energy expense in the average American home

and accounts for about 13 to 17 percent of the energy bill. Fortunately, there

are ways to cut this expense down, including insulating your water heater,

using less hot water, and turning down your water heater’s thermostat. Another

option is to purchase a more energy-efficient system. If this is your

intention, one of the first products you are likely to look for is an Energy

Star labeled water heater.

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental

Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. It is designed to promote

energy-saving practices and products, help consumers save money and be more

informed, and help protect the environment. Currently, water heating is the

only major residential energy end use that the program does not address. The

program is looking to develop this area and provides information on potential water

heater criteria development in the interim.

Energy Star also provides some useful data on understanding

high efficiency water heater technologies. In sum, there are four types of

high efficiency water heater systems. They are storage tank water heaters,

demand (tankless) water heaters, heat pump water heaters, and solar water

heaters. A solar heating system with a backup heating source garners the

largest energy savings of the four methods. Furthermore, its expected lifetime

of 20 years rivals only the demand, or tankless water heater, which has the

same expected lifetime. Storage tank and heat pump heaters have half the life

expectancy. The storage tank water heater results in the least energy and

monetary savings at 10 to 20% and $500, compared to 45 to 60 percent and $1,800

for the tankless system, 65 percent and $900 for the heat pump system, and 70

to 90 percent and $2,200 for the solar system.

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