A new study is looking at the best way to heat your household water while saving money and helping the environment. The conclusion: skip the hot water tank altogether.
Wilden Living Lab, a research project based in Kelowna, B.C., was initiated by the Green Construction Research & Training Centre, a partnership between UBC and Okanagan College along with AuthenTech Homes, FortisBC and Wilden, a community in Kelowna.
Three different water heating systems were tested against each other: the electric water heater, the heat pump water heater and the tankless water heater. In all categories, the tankless water heater won out.
“This is a tankless system, water gets heated only when you need it hot. So this is where you save a lot of energy,” said Karin Eger-Blenk, board chairperson for Wilden Group of Companies.
“As soon as you have to keep water warm in a tank, that is where energy basically goes down the drain.”
The study compared homes with different water heating systems, monitoring them for the past three years. It concluded the best system for this net-zero home being constructed was the tankless water heater. They believe it will use up to 34-per cent less energy than an electric water heater.
“We are installing a dual-energy system which is going to be a combination of a gas furnace and an air source heat pump and it’s regulated by new technology,” said Eger-Blenk.
The study is one of many making the claim that eco-friendly systems can save you money and be more accessible.
“There are a lot of ideas out there that are being tested but we are only looking at technology that is really available and affordable,” said Eger-Blenk.
The Wilden Living lab will release more information about their research on water heating systems on their website.