Purchasing an energy-efficient water heater will help you spend less money and give your home hot water when you need it most. Water heaters will have different heater efficiency ratings, but how do you know what they mean and how they can help you choose the best heater for your home? In this blog we will break down the different water heater efficiency ratings and what they mean for their home.
The Most Common Water Heater Types
Before we discuss water heater efficiency ratings, you should understand what type of water heater you have in your home. Different types of heaters will require different energy efficiency tests and come with different ratings.
Storage Tank water heaters use electricity to heat and store water of a large volume on a steady basis. Higher ratings are best when shopping for these types of water heaters.
Heat Pumps use electricity to move heat from the surrounding air to the water. These are known for their better efficiency and energy savings.
Tankless Water Heaters heat water on-demand which means you will always have hot water when you need it. Their ratings are based on Gallons Per Minute, which shows the buyer how much hot water they can deliver.
Energy Factor (EF)
This is the most widely used rating for water heaters no matter what type you have. The rating includes standby heat loss, cycling losses, and recovery efficiency. When you have a higher energy factor rating this means better efficiency for your home. EF ratings change on different water heater types and different heater sizes.
Uniform Energy Factor (UEF)
Uniform Energy Factor Ratings take similar factors into account as EF ratings, heat loss, standby energy loss, and cycling loss. Non-solar water heaters can be certified by Energy Star if they have a UEF rating of less than 3.30. Energy Star has other criteria like First Hour Rating and Upper and Lower Compressor Cut-Off Temperature that go into a better UEF rating.
Energy Star Certification
The Energy Star Certifications are run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which certifies what appliances are the most efficient for your home. Energy Star Certifications will usually list the annual consumption of water in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This helps buyers see how much they could spend on operating costs for a typical home.
When a water heater meets these efficiency requirements you will have a more sustainable home, save money on energy bills, and have peace of mind about how your water heater will run. Using less energy will not only benefit the environment but will make your wallet much happier too.
First Hour Rating (FHR)
This water heater rating is only used to measure the amount of hot water that the tank can deliver during the first hour of use. The rating is determined by looking at your heaters storage tank and analyzing the tank size, insulation, and burner efficiency. When you have a high First Hour Rating, this means you will have better hot water availability.
A thermal rating refers to how effectively a water heater converts the energy into fuel and then into hot water. These water heater efficiency ratings are usually attached to gas-powered heaters and are represented by a percentage. For example, if a water heater has a thermal efficiency rating of 84%, that means that it converts 84% of the energy it produces into hot water, while the other 16% is essentially wasted fuel.
Can I Increase My Water Heater Efficiency Ratings?
If you are unsatisfied with the ratings your water heater has produced, there are some things you can do to make it more efficient. Some options to help increase your ratings include:
- Insulate the water heater and the connecting pipes
- Turn down the temperature of the water heater
- Set a timer on your water heater so it only runs at high-use times
- Get regular maintenance from a plumber
- Replace your water heater with a more energy-efficient model
High-Efficiency Water Heaters From S&B
In today’s world, it is important to have a sustainable home and conserve energy. Our plumbers at S&B Plumbing can install the highest quality water heaters so that your home is comfortable and efficient. Having hot water for showering and cooking is important for homeowners to feel comfortable in their homes.
S&B Plumbing has been in business for over 25 years, which means we have learned how to best serve our customers and remedy plumbing problems quickly. Whether you have a leaky sink or need a new plumbing appliance, our team can make it happen.