Get Adobe Flash player

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the first step to implementing renewable energy practices. 

As society’s awareness for the environment increases, going green in today’s economy is high in demand.  The hot topic of energy conservation is a top priority for policymakers.  This has resulted in new federal efficiency standards, laws, regulations, and goals aimed at reducing energy use and carbon dioxide emissions by decreasing the impact of daily activities on the environment.

Raising the efficiency standards of residential water heaters is one way the government has addressed efficiency in water heating. 

Water heating

Cost Effective Energy Efficiency through Drain Water Heat Recovery

Hot water discharge is an overlooked source of heat recovery in the building sector.  In any location that there is demand for hot water, heat waste is a result, and nearly ninety percent of that heat goes down the drain.  This is a widely untapped source of renewable energy since that heat can be cost effectively recycled and reused to create hot water.

Over the past several decades, multiple studies on new technologies to reduce energy consumption and improve the process of water heating have included Drain Water Heat Recovery as a simple and cost effective solution. 

Adding a passive heat exchanger to any type of water heating system will boost the systems efficiency and improve the process of heating water by putting that used energy back to work. 

High efficiency Water heaters

While the new water heater requirements address energy conservation in the way of reducing the energy used to heat water, it does not reduce the amount of energy wasted after that hot water is used.

The temperature of the cold water supply will affect the performance and production capability of any water heating system.  A cold supply temperature creates additional pressure on the water heater and requires the system to work twice as hard to produce the same amount of heat.  New regulations and technology for high efficiency water heaters draw from the need to reduce energy consumption; yet it still requires the same amount of energy to heat one gallon of water no matter what type of water heater.  Using drain water heat recovery (DWHR) technology is the solution to the cold-water shock that water-heating systems in the north experience.  If the supply temperature increases from 50 to 80 degrees, then the water heater requires less energy to reach the set temperature of 120-degrees.  The temperature rise comes by circulating incoming cold supply water in a coil around the drainpipe, transferring the heat going down the drain, and redirecting pre-warmed water back into the water heater.  This 30-degree rise in temperature provides energy savings by improving the process of water heating.

Benefits of DWHR

  • Save money on water heating
  • Extend the life of the hot water heater
  • Reduces
    • Energy consumption
    • Carbon emissions
    • Number of hot water tanks in landfills
    • Stress on the water heater and those waiting for a shower
    • The utility bill
  • Eliminates
    • Cold water shock
    • Condensation in/on the tank
    • Shower wait time
  • The DWHR unit
    • Uses NO energy
    • Increases output from 25% to 50% by pre-heating the water
    • Made of 100% copper, 70-80% recycled content
    • Is 100% recyclable product
    • LEED Building Value

Estimated Monthly savings

Typical Water Heating Costs and Monthly Savings with Swing Green Solutions

Monthly Savings Comparison (download pdf)

DWHR and ACHRsavings scenarios PDF

Heat recovery savings chart

One year case study