Heat Recovery Systems

 This blog will lay out the workings of one type of heat recovery system that homes can use, to give consumers a bit more perspective on how they can reduce energy costs and environmental costs. Think about the hot water you use that just goes down the drain still retaining heat. The heat is energy that is actually wasted. It’s actually usually quite a significant amount of energy that is used to heat water in a home, so when that is wasted down the drain, much is lost. A heat recovery system will capture that energy and reroute it in order to preheat cold water that is entering a water heater, or going to the shower, and other fixtures.

Drain water heat recovery systems are simple and they work with pretty much any type of pre-existing heating system in a home or business. These systems can recover heat energy from hot water used in showers, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers, and clothes washers. They often also have the ability to store the energy for later use.

Certain waste heat recovery systems have a storage tank that holds clean water. Warm water that is running down the drain flows through a bottom portion of this tank, which then warms the clean tank water, which then rises to the top preparing for use.

Other waste heat recovery systems do not use this storage system. These usually have a copper heat exchanger instead, which replaces a main section of a vertical drain. Warm water flows down the waste drain, and simultaneously, cold water flows up through the vertical section and is preheated by the warmth of the drain water.

Both processes of preheating cold water mean that drain waste heat recovery systems help increase water heating capacity overall in the home. The impacts of this energy efficiency are great, especially when you may have a smaller than desirable sized heating tank. You can increase capacity for heat production without increasing the physical size of the tank.

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