Are You Wasting Energy
It's hard to evaluate something we rarely see and since few of us have "heat vision" we really have no idea what is going on with energy loss in our homes.
I thought this blog post, along with the thermal image of a water heater showing the areas of heat loss was very good and wanted to share it. I know that it prompted me to think about insulating my water heater and at some point consider installing an "instant hot water" heater underneath my kitchen sink.
Hope it helps you too!
p.s. If you or anyone you know is thinking about relocating to the Colorado Springs area, please shoot me an email or text. I'd love to help!
Conventional water heaters. The standby of the industry for many years. They are located in garages, attics, crawl spaces and almost every other imaginable place that a plumbing contractor or builder can install them. They are fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane and fuel oil. They are simple to build and their operation is as simple. Cold water enters through the bottom and exits through the top.
This simple design also lends itself to a tremendous amount of energy loss. This energy loss is often referred to as standby heat loss. Not only does the water heater lose energy in the standby mode, it also loses energy heating the water. In fossil fuel type heaters a percentage of heat is lost up the flue. And let's not forget the 6 to 10 gallons that is wasted down the drain just getting the hot water from the heater to the tap.
For the most part, builders, plumbers, and the general public install the basic, cheap water heater due to the cost factor. While this is okay, bear in mind that this type of water heater will be more costly to operate. If one is going to go this route, consider installing an insulating blanket to help cut down on the thermal loss. Also, consider insulating the inlet and outlet pipes as well as installing heat traps (often referred to as one way valves) to help control the water that goes in and out of the tank. This will help reduce energy loss by not allowing hot water to flow out of the tank.
In the photo, one can see the energy being lost through the inlet and outlet pipes. One can also see where the hot water is being stored in the top of the tank and the cold water is entering in to the bottom. Depending upon your usage, one can easily see why 18 to 25% of your utility bill is used to heat water.