Like it or not, technology reigns supreme in 2016. The rate at which technological innovations are entering society is faster than a reusable rocket. Water heater technology advances are not quite that quick, but new hot water system innovations are rapidly changing that marketplace, too. Let’s take a look at the spectrum of available water heater technology in 2016, so you are well-informed about this important aspect of everyday life in the modern world.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the basic types of water heaters are:
And the types of fuel or energy sources used in those systems are:
After the water heater was invented in the middle of the 19th century, there was a period of innovation that lasted a few decades. Then the basic water storage tank-type system became the standard in the U.S. for almost a century. The majority of technology advances introduced in North America during that long period focused on increases to the size of the storage tank. Because energy costs are much higher overseas, instantaneous or tankless hot water heaters have been common for many decades in Europe and Asia.
The energy crisis of the late-20th century accelerated technology advances within most industries. The most-noticeable products manufactured to conserve energy were automobiles, in part due to the new federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations enacted by the U.S. congress in 1975. Smaller cars and engines that increased their miles per gallon rating became the norm.
In the late 1990s, the arrival of affordable cars with a hybrid power source made technology innovations regarding energy-efficiency more common, including in the water heater industry. That brings us to 2016.
So, what are the latest and greatest types of water heaters? As with the automobile, hybrid systems that combine the best technologies available are quickly gaining traction. The leading systems in this area are those that combine tankless water heaters, the most energy-efficient, with a variation of tank-type systems that eliminate the main deficiency of a tankless system, which is the “cold water sandwich.” Several different types of hybrid water heaters that eliminate this chilling problem are now on the market.
We believe Navien’s ComfortFlow™ Technology is the hot water heater hybrid system that provides the best combination of energy-efficiency and a rapidly-delivered, never-ending stream of hot water—whenever and wherever you need it in your home or commercial facility.
Navien’s NPE-A series of tankless water heaters use a small buffer tank and circulation pump to eliminate the cold slug of water in the line. Their A series of products also combines energy-efficient ultra condensing technology with environmental technology that improves combustion efficiency, which results in less acid rain and less green house effect. In addition, these units can use your existing 1/2” gas lines up to 24 feet.
If you want to install a new hot water system that features the best water heater technology available today, you definitely need to consider a Navien NPE-A tankless water heater. To discuss how easy it is to convert to tankless, contact us