Seattle homeowners can do a lot to make their hot water heaters more efficient.
Do you feel like the father in A Christmas Story, always grumbling obscenities at your aging boiler in the basement? Maybe it’s not belching black smoke into the kitchen, but if it’s more than seven years old, chances are it’s inefficient and costing you money. Boilers only run at about 65 to 75 percent efficiency, but you can take some steps to waste less energy warming water for your Seattle home.
Boiler Efficiency Basics
We’d be remiss if we didn’t state the first and most effective energy saver: Turn down the thermostat! For every 10 degrees you decrease the setting, you save three to five percent on your energy bill.
It might be less obvious to you that boilers are like car like engines in that they run on combustion. To run well, these systems need sufficient oxygen to burn the fuel. The right air to fuel mixture ratio can improve efficiency by as much as five percent. Call your service technician to measure the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations in the area. The tech can adjust the ration on your boiler for you.
You can also drain some water from the boiler. The water in the tank accumulates solids that can interfere with efficiency. Opinions differ on just how much water you should empty and how often you should do it. Your best bet is to call a technician who has plenty of experience, can perform the maintenance for you and let you know how often it should be done.
You can take steps through the home to improve efficiency even further. For instance, you can reduce water consumption in sinks and showers with high efficiency faucets and shower heads. Setting your dishwasher on the “efficiency” setting has the same effect. Finally, check to be sure that all the hot water pipes have adequate insulation to stop heat loss on the way from the boiler to the tap.
Consider a Replacement
One of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways you can heat the water in your home is to eliminate the boiler and instead invest in a tankless water heater, like the Rinnai R75LSI pictured below:
Tankless water heaters don’t waste energy because they don’t heat water ahead of time and let it sit in the tank, slowly losing its heat energy until you need it. Instead, they heat water on demand. This way, you only use the energy to heat water when you actually need it.
Tankless water heaters come with some nice perks as well. They use up a lot less space in your home for one. They are so compact that you could install a small tankless heater near each faucet if you wanted. They never run out of hot water, and because they aren’t storing water inside a metal tank, they aren’t subject to the same corrosive elements. A tankless water heater can last ten years longer than a traditional boiler. On top of all this, you can earn a federal tax credit for switching to a tankless system.
Call MM Comfort Systems to talk about your Seattle hot water heater’s efficiency. You might decide a tankless system is just what you need.
MM Comfort Systems offers home heating solutions, including tankless water heaters. Call us at 425.533.9058 or use our online contact form to set up a free consultation.