There are new energy efficiency requirements being considered for both residential and commercial tankless type gas and oil water heaters scheduled to come into effect Jan 1, 2020. New construction and retrofits will require condensing technology to be used in all residential and commercial tankless water heaters. In condensing water heaters, multiple heat exchange technology is utilized to transfer maximum energy from combustion to the water being heated. This results in much greater efficiency; the typical older water heater has an energy factor (EF, a measure of the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day, accounting for both unit efficiency and heat loss in stored water) of 0.60 to 0.68 while condensing water heaters are generally operating at over 0.80 EF with some tank-less water heaters having an EF of up to 0.96.
With water heating accounting for about 18% of home energy use, the savings in fuel will be substantial. The technology is well developed and many options are available on the market. The only drawback is that water heaters making use of condensing technology cost about twice what the older types of water heater currently cost.
At the moment there are no similar plans being considered for residential storage type water heaters. However, saving 25% on your gas or oil bill is not insignificant so many homes are embracing the condensing technology despite the difference in initial price. It is the green alternative and the reduction of the carbon footprint is another consideration that will make many people decide to go with it.
At HouseDepot we are intimately familiar with both traditional and condensing type systems. We have installed hundreds of these type of units. With our clients consulting us to learn all the factors that would affect their choice of the type of system to install, we can help you navigate through the many options for home water heating just as we do with other heating, cooling and hydronic systems. We let our clients in Canada know all the facts so they can make the best decision that fits their needs, budget, and environmental conscience.
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