During the winter months, the temperature in your home can decrease, causing your water heater to work harder. Since the water heater accounts for a large portion of your utility bill, it is important to do what you can to reduce energy use. There are a number of easy steps you can take to reduce the amount of hot water you use. These steps will save you money and energy. You can start by lowering the thermostat temperature on your water heater. Another option is to insulate your water pipes.
Lower the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat
Lowering the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat can save you money on your monthly utility bill. Typically, the factory preset temperature for a water heater is 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is too hot for most people, especially young children. However, lowering the temperature by just 10 degrees can reduce your water heating costs by three to five percent.
Before you lower the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat, however, you should take precautions. While 120 degrees is safe for most people, you should raise the temperature of your water heater if you have a family member with a weak immune system or if you have a baby in the home. Also, remember that the temperature setting for your water heater will vary depending on the type of model you have.
Insulate your water pipes
If you’d like to improve the energy efficiency of your water heater, one of the first steps is to insulate your water pipes. This is an easy process that can take just a few hours. Before you get started, make sure that you measure your pipes so you can purchase the appropriate insulation. Most pipes range from 3/8″ to 1 inch in diameter. Once you have the right measurements, you can cut the foam sleeves to fit the exposed pipes.
By insulating your water pipes, you can help prevent frozen pipes, minimize condensation on cold water pipes, and save on energy bills. According to the U.S. Energy Department, water heating accounts for 17% of a home’s energy consumption. In addition to reducing energy costs, insulating hot water pipes can increase water temperature by two to four degrees. This can cut down on how often you need to turn your water heater on.
Install an electric demand water heater
The energy efficiency of your water heater can be greatly improved by installing an electric demand water heater. This type of water heater requires less power and produces less hot water. In fact, a standard sized model uses eleven kW per gallons of water. However, large units can consume as much as 60 amps at 220 volts, which can exceed the wiring capacity of a conventional home. Electric demand units eliminate heat losses in the hot water pipes, which account for a significant portion of the energy used for water heating.
The electric water heater does not have a storage tank. Instead, a gas burner or an electric element heats water when it is required. This ensures that hot water will never run out, but the flow rate may be limited. Energy savings can cover the cost of a new water heater within a few years. This will reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment and save you money.
Upgrade to a more energy-efficient model
Water heaters use about 20% of your home’s energy, so upgrading them is a great way to cut down on energy costs. New water heaters have better insulation, which means that they stay hotter longer while using less energy. This change can lower your energy bill by as much as 20%.
The energy-efficient water heaters are also more efficient than those of the past. They will use less energy to heat water and will keep it at a consistent temperature for longer periods of time. They also use less energy to run, and newer technology helps to trap the heat, preventing outside temperatures from affecting the water inside the tank.
Insulate your water heater’s tank
If you’re trying to cut your water bill, it can be a good idea to encase your water heater’s tank with a thermal insulating blanket. It will help retain the heat that escapes the water heater’s tank and also prevent heat from escaping through the bottom. You can ask a plumber to help you install the blanket so that it will fit properly and stay out of the way of the pipes.
Insulating your water heater’s tank can be an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency. Many newer models are already insulated and have R-values above 24. However, if you have an older model, you’ll want to use an insulation blanket to add extra warmth to your water heater. This will reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent and save you anywhere from seven to 16 percent in energy costs. Another good option is foil tape, which can also provide extra insulation for your hot water pipes.
Replace an inefficient water heater
Buying a new water heater may be an expensive venture, but it will save you money in the long run. Water heaters generally last anywhere from ten to fifteen years, and the energy savings can quickly pay for the upfront costs. Not only will you save money on energy bills, but you will also reduce the amount of pollutants entering the air.
A water heater is one of the biggest consumers of energy, so choosing an energy-efficient model is critical. When purchasing a new heater, look for the energy factor (EF) rating. This value will tell you how much hot water it can produce for each unit of fuel. A water heater with an EF rating of 0.7 or higher is generally acceptable.
In the long run always consult a mechanical plumbing professional.