organ mountains with snowLas Cruces, New Mexico generally enjoy very temperate weather. We enjoy over 350 days of sunshine each every. However, every couple of hundred years we get a killer snow storm. By killer I mean four inches that melted within a few days.

Well, we got our two hundred year storm in January. After the record-breaking snowstorms we experienced here and across the country last month, I have come to a much greater appreciation for electricity and water, especially hot water.

Energy Star Hot Water Heater
The Willows Patio Homes at Picacho Mountain will feature high-efficiency, Energy Star Certified, gas hot water heaters by Rheem. Visit PicachoMountain.com for more information about the Patio Homes.

Hot water is one of those things that is easy to take for granted until you have to go without it. It has also historically been one of the big energy guzzlers in the home.

If you’re looking to go green or upgrade an appliance in your home to save energy, your hot water heater is a good option. As with any feature in your home, there are so many differ­ent types of hot water heaters from which to select. It can be overwhelming to know what to choose or where to start.

Know your options
Tip No. 1 in selecting your next hot water heater is to know your options. What is right for your home 10 years ago, might not be what’s right for your home today. Educate yourself on the options before you start the selection process.

There are four main types of hot water heaters that work well in Las Cruces.

Conventional storage water heaters are the most common water heaters you see in home. A conventional storage water heater is a large tank, often found in the garage or a closet inside the home. It offers a ready reservoir of hot water that is continually heated by either gas or electricity.

The advantage of a conventional storage water heater is that it is often the least expensive option. However, it is also often the least energy-efficient type of water-heating system.

tankless hot water heaterDemand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters have been a very popular alternative to conventional water heaters.

Demand water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank, so they are much more energy efficient.

Heat pumps are an option that can be used to heat and cool your home, as well as your water. Heat pump water heat­ers work by using electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water.

You can purchase a stand-alone heat pump water heating system with a water storage tank or you can also retrofit a heat pump to work with an existing conventional storage water heater.

Solar water heaters are cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly water heating systems that use the sun’s heat to provide hot water.

Now that you know a little bit more about the types of water heaters, here are four additional tips that can help you in evaluating what kind of water heater is right for you.

Select the right fuel source
The next tip for selecting your ideal hot water heater is to evaluate the fuel type or energy sources available. The fuel you use will not only affect the water heater’s annual operation costs, but also its size and energy efficiency.

The first thing that you need to find out is what types of energy are available in your home and which is most cost effi­cient. There are several commonly used energy sources heating your hot water: gas, electric, solar and geothermal.

Natural gas and electricity are the most common energy sources and are both available in most new homes. Typically, gas is the best option if you have a conventional hot water heating system.

If electricity is your option for hot water heating, then a heat pump system will be more cost effective than a conven­tional unit.

Solar hot water heaters are the most environmentally friendly and abundant source of fuel to heat your water.

Consider the size
Size is another criteria for selecting your hot water heater. To provide your household with enough hot water and to maximize efficiency, you need a properly sized water heater.

If you have a large family or use a large amount of hot water in your home, a solar hot water heater might be the best option for you. Whereas if you use very little hot water, a demand system will be a better option.

Energy efficiency
Once you have determined the energy source and the size of your water heating system, you should look for the most en­ergy- efficient system that fits those specifications. To maximize your energy and cost savings, you want to know how energy efficient a water heater is before you purchase it.

Evaluate the costs
The final tip in selecting your next water heater is to evalu­ate the costs of the system and compare those costs with other energy-efficient models. Make sure to look at both the up­front as well as the long-term costs and savings.

If you are primarily looking for the most environmentally friendly choice, solar hot water is the best option. Las Cruces is an ideal location for using solar energy to heat your water. However, solar hot water systems have a much higher up-front cost, which won’t pay off for every homeowner.

For more information on any of these tips, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website.

Contact Picacho Mountain today at 575-523-2500 for more information on building your energy-efficient, green home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Custom Estate Homes, Patio Homes, Town Homes, and Neighborhood Retail.

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