High efficiency AO Smith gas fired water heater (C) Daniel FriedmanGuide to Installing High Efficiency Gas Hot Water Heaters

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This article discusses high efficiency gas-fired hot water heaters, characteristics, selection, installation, economy.

We describe: How to obtain more hot water quantity, pressure, flow, at less cost. Hot water supply efficiency improvements. Water usage efficiency advice about domestic hot water supply

Thanks to Carson Dunlop Associates, a Toronto Home Inspection Firm and Home Inspection Educator, for permission to use sketches shown in this article.

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Install a New High Efficiency Type of Water Heater to Save Hot Water Cost

High efficiency gas fired water heater schematicResidential hot water production consumes about 15% of the total energy consumption of homes in North America, so it makes sense that building owners interested in reducing their total energy consumption and costs should consider ways to reduce their energy bill both by improving home hot water usage efficiency and by improvements in the hot water heating process itself.[6]

Below we discuss other steps that can be taken to improve hot water quantity.

And having a greater quantity of hot water also opens the way to taking steps to improve hot water pressure. (If we increase hot water pressure but lack adequate hot water quantity the result is we run out of hot water faster than ever.)

Installing a high efficiency home hot water heater

The water heater shown at page top was installed in our forensic laboratory. Using a power burner this water heater manages to extract a high enough percentage of the heat from its natural gas burner that the water heater exhaust can be vented directly to outdoors by means of a plastic pipe.

This particular water heater was manufactured by A.O. Smith but other companies also produce high-efficiency water heaters.

At above left you can see a schematic of a high-efficiency gas-fired water heater in this sketch provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop, and you'll see a photo of a modern high-efficiency natural-gas fired water heater above..

Take a look at the Energy Guide [image] sticker data, which measures anticipated energy cost in "Therms per year" (to avoid being confused by changing fuel prices among fuel types) to compare the relative operating costs of these appliances.

The water heater shown at left anticipates an average annual energy cost of about $146. U.S.

Energy guides, therms, and water heater efficiency are discussed further at WATER HEATER OPERATING COST COMPARISONS

Manual mixing valve (C) Daniel FriedmanIf your present source, such as a tankless coil (shown at left) or range boiler is inadequate you can increase hot water pressure and quantity and also to reduce hot water costs, you can install a separate oil or gas fired water heater, an indirect-fired water heater, perhaps an instantaneous water heater, or if you are located where electricity is less costly than these fossil fuels, perhaps an electrical hot water heater.

Select a larger capacity hot water tank tank, perhaps 40 gallons or 50gallons to increase the hot water quantity as well.

High efficiency oil or gas fired water heaters cost a bit more but can pay for themselves quickly considering the rapidly rising costs of home heating oil and natural gas.

Ways to improve hot water quantity, pressure, and flow are discussed beginning at HOT WATER IMPROVEMENTS



Continue reading at HOT WATER EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



Or see WATER HEATER SIZE SPECIFICATION - daily hot water usage rates & tables

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