10 Water Heater Tips to Save Money and Energy

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Want to save money on your water heating bill? Water heaters account for about 18% of your total energy bill. Learn how to create a more efficient home with these simple yet effective water heater tips.  Having hot water in our home is something that most of us take for granted.  But if it were ever taken away from us, we would quite literally feel the chill.  Hot showers, clean dishes, clean clothes, and other creature comforts associated with hot water are intrinsic to our everyday lives.  But did you know that hot water is the second largest energy expense in the home? It generally accounts for 18% of the utility bill.

Since hot water is such an essential component in our day-to-day, these facts aren’t necessarily surprising. However, they do suggest that reevaluating usage and maintenance might save the average home quite a bit of money.  That leaky faucet might seem inconsequential, but it can lead to gallons of wasted water – and put a substantial “drain” on your monthly bill.

10 Water Heater Tips:

Below are several money-saving water heating tips (many supported by energy.gov) that will help lower that large water heating bill.

1. Lower Your Water Heater Thermostat

The first of our 10 water heater tips is one that could make a big impact on your heating bill and you probably won’t even notice a difference! Though many manufacturers set their water heater thermostats at 140°F, most typical households are comfortable with 120°F.  Try taking a shower after you have made the adjustment; it is unlikely you will notice a substantial difference in the temperature.  Not only does this small decrease cut costs, but it also reduces scalding and slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your heater and pipes.

2. Insulate Your Water Heater's Storage Tank

Insulating your storage tank (whether it is electric, natural gas or oil) helps to reduce heat loss and prevents the unit from turning on as frequently.  Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations which include not covering the heater’s thermostat, burner, and the top and bottom. Call us at Better Built Heating and Cooling for assistance in insulating your hot water tank.

3. Install Heat Traps on Your Water Heater

Heat traps allow the flow of cold water into the tank but prevent heated water and unwanted convection to flow from the unit.  Most modern water heaters are designed with built-in heat traps.  But if your unit is more than 10 years old (and in good condition), installing a heat trap is a viable option.  If you would like more information, please feel free to call us 720-615-4699.

4. Use Cold Water When Possible

While this may seem like an obvious tip, using cold water for most laundry loads (especially during the rinse cycle) and for basic grooming (brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.) will go a long way in helping cut down your utility bill.  Cold water is also healthy and good for your health and wellbeing.

5. Repair Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet may seem like a minor nuisance, but it can waste water and money in a noticeably short period of time.  Repair any leaky faucet immediately (be sure to check the outdoor faucets as well). Did you know that 10% of homes have plumbing leaks that waste over 90 gallons a day?

6. Drain the Water Heater Tank

It is a good practice to drain your water heater every year.  Draining the tank helps to remove sediment that can impede heat transfer and ultimately lower the efficiency of the unit.  While this is a relatively easy procedure, always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.  If in doubt, call us to help with your water heater maintenance. 

7. Install a Timer on Your Water Heater

A traditional water heater tank is always running, which is a waste of electricity.  Installing a timer to turn off your heater at night is a great way to help conserve energy – and could add years to the life of the unit.  Call Better Built Heating and Cooling for more information on water heater timers.

8. Insulate The Water Heater's Pipes

In addition to insulating the tank itself, consider adding insulation to the first 6 feet of both the hot and cold water pipes connected to the unit.  This will prevent fire hazards and help conserve heat so that your system doesn’t have to work so hard to reheat it.

9. Replace Old Appliances

If your dishwasher or washing machine is more than 10 years old, you might consider replacing it with a new, more energy-efferent model.  There are many new designs on the market (including Energy Star models) that use less water and are much more efficient than what was on the market even a decade ago.

10. Consider Purchasing a New Water Heater

It is a good idea to replace your water heater if it is more than 10 years old.  An old water heater is not only inefficient but could also cause irreparable damage if it leaks or bursts. 

When Should I Replace My Water Heater?

If you are thinking about replacing your water heater, there are many different options available to you, including tankless water heating.  By only heating water when you require it, tankless water heater can save you $70-$80 per year, which adds up over its 20+ year lifespan.

Don’t continue to throw money down the drain with expensive water heating bills. Follow these tips and conserve both water and energy – while keeping your utility bills in check. 

Looking for more water heater tips or other HVAC tips? We have you covered! Come back often as we are constantly posting valuable HVAC Tips and How-Tos.

Contact Us: Better Built Heating and Cooling here on our website or give us a call today at 720-615-4699

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