Water heating in schools may be done by using electric, gas or solar water heaters. In general practice a gas or electric water heater is usually close to the taps that it is connected to. They might be either located hidden away in cupboards or situated outdoors. Solar water heaters are mounted on the schools roofs, having the storage tank located. These heaters are highly energy efficient as they use solar energy, which is free, and do not produce any harmful green house gases in the process.
Central hot water heaters should be located closest to where the most water is consumed. This is usually in showers and changing rooms. Having a remote heater will lead to heat loss as water passes through a long length of piping from source to destination.� Setting a timer system on the heater will allow school management to regulate the hours during which hot water is available. Provision for an easy override for school management is necessary in case hot water is needed under irregular circumstances.
Pipes that distribute hot water from external heaters to various sources should be insulated. It is crucial to insulate the first meter of piping leading away from the heater. The first meter of piping acts as a heat draw from the tank.
Schools often have a number of small electric or gas water heaters spread around campus. These small units can contribute to heat losses amounting to up to $200 annually. Insulating tanks with a heater blanket will help reduce heat loss and increase efficiency. Timers can be effectively utilized to ensure that water heaters do not unnecessarily run during weekends.�
The use of hot water during showering can be controlled by installing flow controls or low flow rate shower fittings. These special fittings can help reduce water consumption by up to 50%. Shower fittings that give out very fine drops should be avoided in draughty shower rooms as they will not provide a comfortable shower in these cold conditions. Flow controls fitted to existing shower heads or having a low flow unit which produces jets of water will be better suited.
Water boilers are another source of wastage of hot water. These boilers have a capacity of up to 30 liters, which can serve an equivalent of 150 cups of coffee instantly. Usually this much water is not required at any one time. Using a smaller kettle to heat water is more suitable. A 2.5 liter can easily supply water for 15 cups of hot water instantly.