Expert Q&A


40 Expert Q&A related to Water Heating


A. Energy Star recommends taking a staged approach to energy efficiency, which it qualifies as an organization considering its “efficiency mechanism categories” in sequential order. Each of these categories, such as lighting, building envelope, or HVAC, build upon each other. So properly staging efficiency improvements will increase efficiencies in later strategies when the early strategies are completed first.

A. While you could use traditional equipment–a highly efficient condensing boiler with variable speed drives on the pump motors would be energy efficient–indoor swimming pools pose a challenge as they require simultaneous heating and dehumidification. Heat-pump water heaters efficiently tackle both those needs by heating water and producing cool air–air that lowers the temperature of the room where the pool is located and lowers the humidity in the room. If you have a lot of available sunlight, you may want to research low-temperature unglazed solar water heaters. They tend to be inexpensive and well suited for some climates.

A. Some facilities are large enough that they may be susceptible to high demand charges, or billed demand, from their utility. To minimize demand charges, you can install DDCs–digital demand controllers–that will control the operation of a number of items, ensuring that they don’t draw power simultaneously. This prevents spikes in energy use that lead to demand charges. A DDC won’t turn off your lights in the middle of an event, but it may interrupt hot water heating, space heating, cooling, or refrigeration units. But not to worry, it’ll only do so long enough to prevent spikes, not long enough for occupants to notice.

A. The goal of Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) is, as it states: “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.” Within the act’s 300 pages is a call to raise the efficiency of industrial electric motors.

A. To determine simple payback, you divide the cost savings from any avoided energy costs by the cost of the new equipment or the cost of installing the new process. Keep in mind there will also be savings associated with any improvement in productivity attributued to the new equipment or process.

40 Expert Q&A related to Water Heating