Green Term Defined: High Efficiency Water Heater

High efficiency water heating can save you a considerable amount of energy each day. There are several systems used to efficiently heat water for usage inside a building. The most common is either an on-demand water heater or a heat pump water heater. Here are several options to consider, with any also insulating supply piping will increase your overall efficiency.

indirect water heater

Water heater that draws heat from a boiler used for space heating; a separate zone from the boiler heats potable water in a separate, insulated tank via a water-to-water heat exchanger.


heat-pump water heater

An fixture that uses an air-source heat pump to heat water. Most heat-pump water heaters include an insulated tank equipped with an electric resistance element to provide backup heat whenever hot water demand exceeds the capacity of the heat pump. Since heat-pump water heaters extract heat from the air, they lower the temperature and humidity of the room in which they are installed.


on-demand water

System used to  deliver hot water either at point of use or in a traditional one fixture supplied whole house system. The advantage is water is only heated on demand instead of through the day as with a traditional tank water heater.


Solar Thermal Water Heating

System comprised of a storage tank and solar collector on the roof. Solar collectors absorb heat and transfer it into the water either directly or through the use of a heat transport fluid. They can be flat plate collectors, evacuated tubes, or dark storage tanks.

A continuing series to help understand green building terms by Harrisonburg Architect. More terms defined here:

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