If you're like many families, having a ready supply of hot water -- enough to allow multiple consecutive showers or the ability to shower and do a load of laundry or dishes simultaneously -- helps keep the household humming along smoothly. However, the cost of keeping 50, 80, or more gallons of water heated to a consistently high temperature can cause your energy bills to skyrocket over time. Are there any energy-efficient ways to heat water in your home without compromising its temperature or supply? Read on to learn more about heat pump water heaters, as well as some other ways you can help reduce the amount of energy your water heater consumes.
Are heat pump water heaters more efficient than standard electric or gas water heaters?
While heat pump water heaters still maintain a constant supply of heated water, they're more than twice as efficient as other water heaters due to the way they generate heat. Instead of using propane, an electric conductor, or natural gas to heat the water tank from the outside, heat pump water heaters remove heat from the air in the room and use this heat to warm the water supply. This efficient method of energy generation can help you cut the amount of electricity your water heater consumes by half to two-thirds -- and because water heaters make up around 18 percent of the average utility bill (or even more if your current heater is inefficient), this simple switch can help cut your energy bills by more than 10 percent.
What are your other efficient water heating options?
Heat pump water heaters won't work for every home -- in order for the pump to be able to gather the heat needed to generate hot water, the interior temperature of the room (or closet) in which this heater is installed has to be between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll also need at least 1,000 cubic feet of space around the heater to ensure a sufficient air supply.
If a heat pump water heater isn't a good fit for your lifestyle or home setup, you may want to look into a tankless or on demand water heater. Rather than keep a large amount of water constantly heated, these water heaters spring into action only when you turn on the tap. Most tankless water heaters are equipped to handle multiple demands on the hot water supply at once, and because they only heat the water you use, are generally much more efficient than traditional tank heaters.