Helpful Water Heater Tips
Water Heating Tips
Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 14% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, and buy a new, more efficient water heater.
A family of four, each showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person. You can cut that amount in half simply by using low-flow showerheads and faucets.
• Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period.
• Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
• Install aerators in faucets and low-flow showerheads.
• Buy a new water heater with a thick, insulating shell; while it may cost more initially than one without insulation, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.
• Although most water heaters last 10–15 years, it's best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.
• Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer's advice.
• Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15–25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
Buy a blanket for your water heater. Save up to 20% a month or up to $100 a year in savings. It takes a lot of energy to heat water and keep it hot. By installing a water heater blanket (costs around $10 at home discount store) it helps keep the water warm by holding the heat in.
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