As commercial building owners and designers demand higher efficiency from their water heaters, manufacturers are responding with products that can provide significant energy savings, Nicole Krawcke writes in Plumbing & Mechanical Engineer.

Keith Kuliga Jr., product manager for commercial products for Bradford White Water Heaters, tells her: “When you compare the energy efficiency of a standard efficiency gas water heater to a high-efficiency gas unit, the difference can range from 10% to 17%. Even though a high-efficiency gas water heater is more expensive to buy, depending on the water usage of a business, the potential for operational savings is significant over the long-term, so you can get a good payback.” To meet those higher efficiencies, manufacturers are using more sophisticated combustion systems and advanced heat exchanger designs, he adds.

Paul Pohl, product manager for commercial new product development for A. O. Smith, sees a trend toward higher-Btu gas water heaters. “That trend seems to be driven by the fact that mechanical rooms are getting smaller and smaller. For example, our new 750,000 and 1 million Btu Cyclone models have the same footprint as our 300,000 through 500,000 Btu units.”

The article also highlights the critical role that water heating will continue to play in commercial businesses such as restaurants and hospitality, where hot water is essential to sanitary practices and increased water flow for handwashing stations and restrooms.

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