Do you know heating water for domestic purposes-showers, laundry, dishes, and the rest accounts for 12% to 26% of a home’s energy use? But you can put your hot-water system on an energy diet without sacrificing comfort. Here let me introduce you two strategies that will reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint.
Add A Recirculation System
A family of four wastes as much as 45 m³ of water every year waiting for hot water to travel from the heater to the tap. That wait wastes water and energy, and puts an unnecessary burden on sewage-treatment systems.
Hot water recirculation pumps are a nice convenience that allows you to benefit from an immediate supply of hot water to all of the faucets in your home. Instead of having to wait for the water to heat up every time you take a shower, wash your hands, or do the dishes, these unique systems will pump hot water through the hot water piping system and back to your heater. Sometimes these systems work with the cold water line. At other times, they have their own dedicated plumbing line. The recirculation pump actually moves water in the line back to the water heater, thus reducing the amount of time needed for hot water to reach your faucet.
Different from the traditional circulator pumps with cast iron pump housing, the recirculation pumps are usually equipped with brass or stainless steel material corrosion-resistant housing, which is safe for the sanitary water. For domestic hot-water recirculation in single- and two-family houses, it is enough to fix a small HER recirculation pump with power of only 3~9W.
Add A Thermal-Expansion Tank
When water is heated, it expands. Although the water in your water heater doesn’t reach the boiling point and turn into steam, it does expand when heated up. This is called thermal expansion.
If a check valve or a pressure regulating valve (PRV) is installed on the water supply line coming into your home, it keeps all that excess pressure trapped in your home’s plumbing system which stresses your supply lines, fixtures, and appliances. It would ruin your water heater or cause a leak in the piping- the weakest link in the chain.
That’s where the expansion tank comes in. Properly installed, it absorbs this excess pressure. Half of the tank is filled with water from the main water system of your home. The other half is filled with compressed air. There is a butyl rubber bladder in the middle. As the water in your water heater gets hotter and expands, it pushes against that bladder and further compresses the air on the other side.
As water is heated, it expands. A properly sized thermal-expansion tank gives the expanding volume of water a place to “grow” while protecting the tank and plumbing system from thermal-expansion stresses. Water can not be compressed, but ai can. The two are separated by the rubber diaphragm inside the expansion tank.
Adding a properly sized Thermal-Expansion Tank can save your money by reducing wear and tear on your home’s plumbing. The water heater will last longer; the faucets won’t wear out as quickly; and piping and fittings won’t break, split, or develop leaks caused by high pressure.