Lowes launches Energy Smart water heater

WILKESBORO, N.C. Whirlpool Corp. and Lowes Corp. in September launched the new Energy Smart electric water heater that they say can cut homeowners standby electricity costs by as much as 30% when compared to a standard electric water heater. Available at Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse stores, the Energy Smart electric water heater also offers protection against dry firing, a leading cause of warranty

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Whirlpool Corp. and Lowe’s Corp. in September launched the new Energy Smart electric water heater that they say can cut homeowners’ standby electricity costs by as much as 30% when compared to a standard electric water heater.

Available at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse stores, the Energy Smart electric water heater also offers protection against dry firing, a leading cause of warranty claims, the companies said.

When in Energy Smart mode, the Energy Smart water heater’s patented control system monitors hot water usage and automatically adjusts the water temperature to maximize low-cost hot water availability. The system helps minimize standby energy costs by automatically adjusting the water temperature to the lowest possible level to still provide the hot water needed, the companies said.

Other energy features include a vacation/cabin mode for extended absences. When activated, the mode reduces the water temperature to 50°F to reduce energy costs and protect against freezing.

“With today’s high electricity costs, homeowners are focusing on ways to improve their bottom line,” said John Alexander, vice president and general manager/Whirlpool brand, North America. “Whirlpool and Lowe’s are dedicated to providing energy-efficient appliances that help to reduce energy costs while still providing a high level of performance.”

In addition to its energy-saving capabilities, the Energy Smart water heater has a microprocessor technology that enables it to perform self-diagnostic monitoring. The technology enables the Energy Smart water heater to prevent dry firing.

This occurs when a new water heater is powered up before the tank is filled. According to American Water Heater Co. data, a dry-fired water heater causes the heating elements to fail and is the leading cause of warranty claims on new electric water heaters. In addition, the Energy Smart system monitors malfunctions that can cause unavailability of hot water, excessively high water temperatures and heating element failures.

Energy Smart water heaters also include a patented self-cleaning feature that helps preserve the life of the water heater’s tank by reducing corrosion and lime buildup. This new product is offered in both 40- and 50-gal. models with a limited tank and parts warranty of nine-year, 12-year and “lifetime.”

Whirlpool is headquartered in Benton Harbor, Mich. The company manufactures in 13 countries and markets products under 11 major brand names in more than 170 countries.

With 2001 sales of $22.1 billion, Lowe’s Cos. is a Fortune 100 company that serves more than 7 million customers a week at more than 800 home-improvement stores in 43 states. The 14th largest retailer in the nation, Wilkesboro-based Lowe’s is the second largest home-improvement retailer in the world.