The water heater is often underappreciated despite it accounting for a huge chunk of your energy bill. All the same, there have been a lot of innovations in hot water technology some of which can reduce your utility bills significantly and are environmentally friendly. Here are four of the most notable technologies in water heating:
Sacrificial anode rod
This device is a key component in your water heating system and among the leading innovations in hot water technology. This metal rod is made of either aluminum or magnesium and extends through the interior of your tank. It is known as a sacrificial rod because it works to extend the life of your water heater by using an electrochemical process to attract limestone, iron, and other compounds that are present in water so that they do not corrode your tank. Often, manufacturers recommend inspection of this anode every three years and its subsequent replacement when it shows more than 50% decay. You are required to change this rod often if your household uses hard water or a water softener. Replacement is a pretty simple activity that does not require any specialized skills. This advantage makes this rod a sound investment.
While shopping for a heater at any water heater company, you may have come across a power vent heater at some point. But, what does the term power vent mean? This is a technology that allows your water heater to expel harmful combustion gases. It is common knowledge that gas water heaters tend to produce harmful chemicals, in this case, you can use this technology to vent these emissions using a flu system. Traditional vents are reliant on convention, a process where hot air rises to expel harmful gases through vertical flu.
Powered vents are advanced and use a blower instead to cool the exhaust system to push emissions horizontally out of the vents. The ability of these vents to cool the exhaust allows the usage of PVC pipes in place of metal ones which adds longevity to your venting system. The other advantage of these vents is that they are not powered by electricity hence you do not need to rely on metal ductwork which may sometimes cause leakage. If the leakage has already happened, then you should be aware of the damage it can cause to the interior and exterior of your house, the best solution would be to call a contractor to renovate the siding of the house, or if you live on a rented space then contact your property management company and let them know about the issue.
You need to flush your water heater at least every six months or one year. Given how busy life gets, it can be difficult to remember to do it. However, with modern self-cleaning heaters, you do not need to worry about this task. A self-cleaning tank is designed with a dip tube that runs from top to bottom which functions to stir up the water. The goal is to prevent the settling of sediments at the bottom of the tank. Stirred-up sediments are expelled when you turn on your hot water tap, a practice that reduces bottom build-up. If you use on-demand heaters in your kitchen, this self-cleaning tank is ideal for you. However, you may need softeners in your bathroom to minimize the effects of hard water on your skin. In case you didn't know, sediments tend to reduce the effectiveness of your water heater but when you use this tank, you extend the life of your heater!
Solar-powered heating systems
The solar heating system is also a major innovation in hot water technology. In the last decade, the solar hot water system was ineffective as it was prone to leakage, thanks to advances in technology, it has improved greatly. The simplest system is made of black pipes that are filled with water and covered by a glass box. They are set up in such a way that the sun heats the box and causes convection which heats the water.
However, this technology cannot provide you with "usable" water as the system is closed. The beauty of this innovation is that your water can still be heated even during winter. The latest brand in solar heating has both active and passive variations. An active system has equipment that will take up solar energy and convert it to electricity or hot water while a passive system has devices that will only optimize the use of the sun’s energy directly. Despite being around for a while, the usage of solar is expanding as the universe calls for the use of clean energy!
The water heating sector continues to experience tremendous growth as new developments are launched often. The sacrificial anode rod, power venting technology, self-cleaning, and solar heating heaters are just the tip of the iceberg. You can adopt any of these innovations to cater to any of your heating needs!
Lena Linetti is an interior designer. She is young and ambitious, with a degree in architecture. She has eight-plus years of experience in interior and exterior design. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and create their perfect sweet home. Lena puts a big effort into working with her clients and tries to help them in the best way she can.