High efficiency water heating can save you a considerable amount of energy each day. There are several systems used to efficiently heat water for usage inside a building. The most common is either an on-demand water heater or a heat pump water heater. Here are several options to consider, with any also insulating supply piping will increase your overall efficiency.
indirect water heater
Water heater that draws heat from a boiler used for space heating; a separate zone from the boiler heats potable water in a separate, insulated tank via a water-to-water heat exchanger.
heat-pump water heater
An fixture that uses an air-source heat pump to heat water. Most heat-pump water heaters include an insulated tank equipped with an electric resistance element to provide backup heat whenever hot water demand exceeds the capacity of the heat pump. Since heat-pump water heaters extract heat from the air, they lower the temperature and humidity of the room in which they are installed.
System used to deliver hot water either at point of use or in a traditional one fixture supplied whole house system. The advantage is water is only heated on demand instead of through the day as with a traditional tank water heater.
Solar Thermal Water Heating
System comprised of a storage tank and solar collector on the roof. Solar collectors absorb heat and transfer it into the water either directly or through the use of a heat transport fluid. They can be flat plate collectors, evacuated tubes, or dark storage tanks.
A continuing series to help understand green building terms by Harrisonburg Architect. More terms defined here: http://harrisonburgarchitect.wordpress.com/?s=green+term+defined
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