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Electric Water Heaters

Electric Water HeaterConsumers have many options when it comes to water heater replacement. Traditional (“tank”) water heaters hold up to 80 gallons of hot water in a large storage tank. When hot water is being used, cold water enters the bottom of the tank and is then heated to a preset temperature. This ensures that the storage tank is always full of hot water.

 

A tankless (“demand”) water heater, on the other hand, is a more efficient method of water heating. A demand water heater only heats the water needed for immediate use. Unlike a tank water heater, this method results in no standby energy loss.

 

Home- and business-owners may choose from electric, geothermal, natural gas, heat pump, propane, fuel oil, and solar energy water heaters. Of all these options, perhaps the most energy-saving method of hot water heating is with a demand electric water heater. Let’s examine the many benefits of this type of hot water heater.

 

Demand Electric Water Heaters

In a demand electric water heater, cold water moves into the unit and is then heated by an electric heating element. When the water reaches a preset temperature (usually between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit), it flows through the hot water line and to the faucet for use. Although it may sound like a lengthy process, this cycle takes merely five seconds to complete. In a demand electric water heater, there is no wasted water or electricity. Water is heated only when you or someone in your home turns on a hot water tap.

 

Traditional “Tank” Electric Water Heaters

A traditional “tank” electric water heater requires two electric heating elements. Each element has its own thermostat. One element is located at the base of the storage tank and is designed to sustain a minimum temperature setting. The other electric element is located at the top of the storage tank and is designed to provide hot water recovery when hot water demand increases. Tank electric water heaters generally hold between 20 and 80 gallons of water that remains heated at all times. A demand electric water heater is far more energy efficient than a tank water heater, because demand units do not heat more water than presently required.

 

Choosing Between Electric and Gas Water Heaters

With electric and natural gas rates now more expensive than ever, many consumers have difficulty choosing between an electric and a gas water heater. They simply want to pick the model that will save them the most money over time. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of electric water heaters.

 

One reason to purchase an electric water heater over a gas water heater is that electric water heaters are generally more efficient. This is because many demand gas water heaters have a continuously-burning pilot light that wastes unnecessary gas and energy. While some demand gas water heaters do come with a standing pilot light that can be turned off when not in use, most homeowners don’t have the time or energy to micro-manage their water heater in this way.

 

Because electric water heaters lack a pilot light, they require less supervision and use less overall energy than gas water heaters. One “con” of electric water heaters, however, is that they can have a slower flow rate than gas water heaters. If you have a large family with extensive hot water needs, you can avoid this problem by installing more than one demand electric water heater in your home.

 

Demand electric water heaters can reduce energy usage as much as 40%. If you’re considering water heater replacement, you can’t go wrong with a demand electric water heater!

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