Posts Tagged ‘water heating’

I’m liking the Vertex water heater

May 26, 2011

In recent months, we’ve installed dozens of new ultra-efficient gas “condensing” water heaters—the Vertex Direct Vent  by A.O. Smith.  They look great.  I’m not referring to the yellow top.  Rather, I mean that I like the way the work, and that they eliminate some of the issues we face installing tankless water heaters. 

AO Smith Vertex Water HeaterBecause gas condensing water heaters are so efficient, capturing 96% of the available heat from burning gas, the tank heats up almost as quickly as it’s filled (depending on the temperature of the water coming in).  This means that is the teenagers happen to get in the shower before you in the morning, you’ll still be able to enjoy a hot one.

Of course, the high-efficiency also means you’ll save money—usually well over $100 per year, more than offsetting the cost of the better unit. 

I also really like the fact that these units draw their combustion air from outside, reducing venting issues and safety problems associated with “atmospherically” vented water heaters.

And in some efficiency homes that are heated with water, these have enough oomph (that’s the technical term) to heat your house as well.

These are an exciting addition to the mix.  I still like the possibility of heat pump water heaters, and their hybrid cousins, but more so in warmer climates.  And solar water heating is a simple renewable technology.  But if you heat your water with gas—and if you heat your home with hot water, these are a great option to consider.

From the Water Forum

June 10, 2009

Whew–homes and multifamily buildings sure have a long way to go in terms of both water-efficiency and hot water efficiency.  So much of the water the typical home pays to heat gets lost down the drain after it’s cooled in the pipes and waiting for more hot water to arrive.   Ever turn on the hot water tap in the morning and what 20 seconds for hot water?  40 seconds?  A couple of minutes?  It shouldn’t be that way.  Waiting and wasting: two problems that can be greatly reduced by proper equipment choices, placement, and plumbing.   Easier in new construction BEFORE goofy piping runs are in place,  but existing homes can also benefits from tweaking (or overhauls!).


ACEEE Hot Water Forum

June 8, 2009

I’m meeting with industry experts and utilities today at the ACEEE Hot Water Forum on new water heating technologies and iniatives–a good part of the conversation will be about solar hot water.  I’ll let you know if anything interesting comes up.


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