Ten Ways to Reduce Your Water Heating Costs
Heating a house is expensive, but so is heating water. If you’ve already made significant attempts to lower your home’s energy costs and yet your utility bills are still higher than desired, your hot water heater might be the reason. According to Energy.gov, heating water consumes roughly 18% of your utility bill. As a result, changing how you set up and use your hot water heater could save you a lot of money.
- Adjust Lower the Heater Thermostat(s)
Visit the garage or basement to discover what temperature your hot water heater is presently at. If the thermostat is set higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit, lower it. For every 10-degree decrease in temperature, you’ll save 3 to 5% on your energy bill, and your family’s risk of burns will be reduced significantly.
- Fix Leaky Faucets
Do you have a leaking faucet that you’ve been ignoring? Consider this: each year, a leaky faucet with 60 drips per minute drains 3,150 gallons of water. You’re not only paying for the water that was lost because of the leak, but also for the energy needed to heat it if it’s coming from the hot water tap.
Do you want to see how much money your leaking faucet is wasting? A drip calculator from the American Water Works Association may be used for this.
- Go Low-Flow
It’s one thing to put off a bathroom makeover, but don’t forget to replace old plumbing components. If your showerheads and faucets were made before 1992, replace them with low-flow versions. Showerheads with today’s technology use half the amount of water as those from previous years.
- Search for Ways to Use Less Hot Water
To reduce your energy costs, try to be more conscious of how much hot water you use. Showers should be shorter, laundry should be washed in cold water, and the dishwasher should only be run when it is full. Examine your daily routine and seek ways to cut back on your hot water usage.
- Clear the Sediment from Your Water Heater Tank
A hot water heater’s sediment builds up over time, and it has to be removed. Manufacturers recommend that you do this simple maintenance procedure once every six months, but doing it quarterly is recommended. Why? Because the sediment makes your hot water heater work harder, resulting in a higher utility bill and a shorter lifespan for your hot water heater. It’ll take you no more than 15 minutes, so don’t put it off.
- Insulate Your Water Pipes
Water pipes that come out of your hot water heater should be insulated for insulation so that your water loses less heat on its way to you. This is a simple and inexpensive project, but you must exercise caution. If you have a gas hot water heater, make sure the insulation is at least 6 inches from the flue. Energy.gov has instructions on how to properly insulate water pipes.
- Insulate Your Water Heater
New water heaters are well-insulated, so they don’t lose heat, but if you have an older hot water heater, it may not be as well insulated. Look up the R-value of your water tank in the owner’s handbook and see whether you can add a thermal blanket.
Don’t know where your owner’s handbook is? If the inside of the tank feels warm, you don’t have enough insulation.
It’s critical to know how to insulate a water heater tank correctly when putting in an insulation blanket, as well as what parts of the hot water heater should be covered.
Know how to insulate a water heater tank the right way and don’t cover certain parts of the hot water heater.
- Install Heat Traps on Your Water Tank
The cold-water inlet pipe and hot water outlet pipe can also leak heat. If your hot water tank did not come with heat traps (which is typical), consider installing them (they’re standard equipment in most new water heaters). They’re low-cost valves (or loops) that keep hot water from exiting up the pipes when your tank isn’t in use. According to Energy.gov, adding heat traps reduces energy costs by $15 to $30 per year, making them a worthwhile investment within a few months.
- Install a Timer on Your Hot Water Heater
It’s a waste of money to heat water that you aren’t going to use. Install a timer on your hot water heater, so you can program it to turn off when you’re at work and while you’re sleeping. If you live in an area that charges higher electric rates during peak hours, you can even use it to turn your water heater off during those hours.
- Update to a More Efficient Water Heater
The average life expectancy for a tankless water heater is 15 years. If yours is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. Tankless hot water heaters and solar hot water heaters are less expensive to operate. You’ll appreciate not having to worry about running out of hot water while tankless hot water heaters provide an endless supply of heated water.