When folks start shopping around for something like a new water heater, they sometimes stumble across terms that they aren’t familiar with. If you’re looking for a new water heater in Phoenix—particularly if you’re trying to decide between a tank or tankless model—then one of those phrases you may have encountered is standby energy loss. You may not be familiar with it, but it is a major consideration if you’re trying to decide between these two types of systems.
Today, we’ll talk about standby energy loss, tank and tankless models, and more. Before we do, one quick reminder. There are a lot of great systems from many superb manufacturers out there. If you fail to schedule your water heater installation and services with qualified professionals, though, none of that quality will matter. You’re going to wind up with a system that won’t deliver the level of performance you deserve. Of course, that’s of no concern when you work with a Sunny Plumber!
All Water Heater Tanks Lose Heat
It’s a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless. Modern water heater tanks are more efficient than ever before. They’re better at retaining heat than older models. But some amount of heat is going to transfer through that tank. Why? Because heat naturally moves from warmer spaces to cooler ones. And when heat transfers through the tank into the cooler air surrounding it, that’s called standby energy loss.
Why Is That an Issue?
Well, because you’re paying for the fuel or electricity used to heat that water, regardless of whether that heat stays in that water until you’re ready to use it. So when you have a tank full of hot water that is cooling off, even if it is very gradually, you are basically paying to reheat that water.
What Can I Do About It?
The simplest thing to do about it is to insulate the tank. Tanks obviously have some insulation built in. Like we said, they are more efficient than ever before. However, there’s always room for improvement. You can buy insulating wraps and jackets for water heater tanks that make it incredibly easy to add more insulation. That will slow the heat transfer that drives up energy costs.
The Most Effective Solution
Notice we said that insulation slows energy loss, not stops it. There is only one way to completely eliminate any and all standby energy loss, and that is by eliminating the tank entirely. How do you do that while still enjoying the comfort and convenience of hot water?
You heat only the water that you need, as you need it.
That’s what tankless water heaters do. That’s why they’re also called “on-demand” water heaters. Basically, you call for hot water at a fixture, that water is passed through the tankless water heater, and that process continues until you shut off the hot water. When you need hot water again, it starts up again.