High performance home designed for high performance water heater

High performance home designed for high performance water heater

Water heating can account for about 20 percent of a home's energy use. New energy efficiency standards are designed to reduce that, and new technology delivers energy saving water heating. That's why a heat pump water heater will be part of the Proud Green Home of Cincinnati.

After April 16, 2015 all new manufactured water heaters were required to have higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings.

The new standards date back to 2010, when the United States Department of Energy, as part of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), issued new energy efficiency mandates that require higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings on most residential water heaters. The higher standards impact how water heaters are manufactured, as well as how and where they're installed.

One of the technologies developed to meet those standard is the heat pump water heater. A number of manufacturers have introduced these systems into the U.S. market in recent years.

At the 2015 International Builders' Show, Francois Lebrasseur, marketing manager for GE Water Products, reviewed the new 80-gallon Energy Star ENERGY STAR-qualified GeoSpring hybrid electric heat pump water heaters.

GE says The 80-gallon GeoSpring will clock in as the most efficient way to heat water and is ideal for homes over 3,000 square feet or homes that have more than 3.5 baths.

“The new 2015 GeoSpring line up is 67 percent more efficient than a standard electric water heater,” said Francois Lebrasseur, marketing manager for GE Water Products. “Most consumers are not aware that with the GeoSpring's advanced heat pump technology, they can cut their water heating expenses by more than a half.

Other GeoSpring features:

  • Includes the same water and electrical connections as a standard electric water heater, making it easy to install.
  • Boasts an energy factor of 2.9, exceeding U.S. Department of Energy’s 2015 energy-efficiency standards.
  • Saves the average household $376 every year compared to a standard electric water heater.
  • Provides the same amount of hot water as a traditional 80-gallon standard electric water heater.
  • Operates in heat pump mode at an ambient temperature down to 35 degrees F, helping homeowners save on energy even during the colder months.
  • Offers exclusive features, such as vacation mode, which will lower the water temperature to 50 degrees for the duration of a trip, and then automatically reenergize itself the day before the homeowner’s return.
  • Allows consumers to adjust the temperature setting in one-degree increments from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ben Jacks, architect and homeowner of the Proud Green Home of Cincinnati, plans to use a heat pump water heater in the home to help it meet green home certification standards. Jacks, an architect and an associate professor at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, designed the four-story home to be a near net-zero energy home and achieve LEED for Homes Platinum and Passive House certification. Reducing energy consumption will help the home meet its certification goals.

Read more about energy-saving water heaters.

Topics: Bathroom, Certification / LEED, Kitchen, Proud Green Home of Cincinnati, Water Heaters

Companies: Environmental Water Systems, Green Building Consulting, Zehnder America, ACT D'MAND Systems, STEP Warmfloor, EcoDrain

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