Blog – Water Heater Tips that Won’t Drain Your Bank or the Tank!
Having hot water in our home is something that most of us take for granted. Imagine cold water during that morning shower? Brrrr! Hot showers, clean dishes, clean clothes and other comforts associated with hot water are essential to our everyday lives. But did you know that hot water is the second largest energy expense in the home? It accounts for about 18% of the utility bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
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 home maintenance might save the average home quite a bit of money. That leaky faucet might seem insignificant, but it can lead to gallons of wasted water, and put a “drain” on your monthly bill.
Water Heater Tips:
Below are several money -saving heating tips that will help lower those large water heating bills.
1.Lower the thermostat
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’ve made the adjustment; it’s unlikely you will notice a substantial difference. Not only does this small decrease cut costs, it also reduces scalding and slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your header and pipes.
2. Insulate Tank
Insulating your storage tank 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 your local plumber for assistance in insulating your hot water tank.
3. Install Heat Traps
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.
4. Use Cold Water
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.
5. Repair Leaky Faucets
A leaky faucet may seem like a minor nuisance, but it can waste water and money in a very short period of time. Repair any leaky faucet immediately (be sure to check outdoor faucets as well). Did you know that 10% of homes have plumbing leaks that waste over 90 gallons a day?
6. Drain The Tank
It’s a good practice to drain your water heater every year or so. Draining the tank helps to remove sentiment that can impede heat transfer and 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 a professional to help with water heater maintenance.
7. Insulate 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.
8. Replace Old Appliances
If your dishwasher or washing machine is more than 10 years old, you might want to consider replacing it with a new, more energy-efficient mode. There are many new designs on the market that use less water and are much more efficient than what was on the market a decade ago.
9. Consider Purchasing a New Hot Water Heater
It’s 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. A licensed professional plumber can help you decide the best option for you and your family.