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Choosing The Right Water Heater: Factoring EF Into The Equation

When buying a new water heater, there are several elements that can help determine which model and type is right for your home. Whether you’re looking at buying a traditional storage type, a tankless unit or a heat pump model, the energy factor (EF) of each type is important to your decision.

The energy factor specifies the unit’s general energy efficiency. It is calculated by determining the quantity of hot water generated per unit of fuel that is used over an average day.

The product literature included with your water heater will usually provide its energy factor, but don’t base your purchase on this number alone. You must also consider the size. Your water heater must be large enough to meet the hot water demands of your household. A unit that is too large or too small will not run efficiently.

In addition to the size, you need to know the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat generated by your fuel or energy source is transported to the water. After that, it’s necessary to know how much heat is lost each hour from the heated water stored in the tank, compared to the initial heat content in the water. Finally, you need to determine the heat that is lost from the water as it cycles through the water heater and the pipes that lead in and out of the unit.

In general, the higher the unit’s energy factor, the more efficiently it runs, but this doesn’t always mean savings on your energy costs. Your fuel or energy source and its availability play a significant role in determining your total operating costs. The fuel not only affects the cost of operation each year, but also plays a role in determining the size of heater you will require and its energy efficiency.

If you live in Orlando and would like expert advice on purchasing a new water heater for your home, contact us at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning. We’ve been assisting customers in central Florida with their home comfort needs for more than 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Rinaldi’s services Orlando, Florida and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

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