We are all trying to find ways to reduce our energy bill. While there may be a conservationist reason to be more “green” about our energy consumption, the economy is also forcing those less concerned about environmental impacts to reduce their utility bill. Water heating is generally the second largest energy expense for most homes. On average, it makes up 18% of the household energy bill so it bears some consideration on how to lower that impact on the family budget.
One way is to install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads. These devices will change how you shower, but add more change to your pocket at the end of each month. Even if you choose not to replace your showerheads and faucets with these more water conscious options, you should still check your faucets and the surrounding plumbing for any cracks or leaks that can cause water to be needlessly wasted.
While the lifespan of the average, conventional tank water heater is around 10-15 years, you should consider replacing it if it is older than 7 or 8 years as the unit becomes less efficient over time. While it may still work, it is probably working harder to do what it needs to after 7 or 8 years. There are probably newer models that are far more efficient than your old unit or it may be time to see if a tankless water heater might be a better solution for your particular situation.
Buying a new unit is expensive. Another option that does not require a new installation would be to simply set the thermostat on the water heater to 120°F which is generally hot enough for common use. Another cheap solution is to drain a quart of water from your tank every 3 months. This removes sediment that settles in the tank which hinders heat transfer in your unit making it work harder and harder over time.
Insulation is also another way to improve your water tank’s efficiency. If you have a natural gas or oil hot-water tank, insulate everything except for the top, bottom, thermostat, or the burner compartment. For those using an electric hot-water tank, insulate the unit except for the thermostat. You should also insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes that are connected to your water heater. As a further step, you can also install heat traps on the hot and cold water pipes. Check your unit first, however, as most new units already have heat traps built-in.
Guest post is provided by Payless Water Heaters. If you need expert assistance on making and changes or repairs to your hot water heater units, contact us at Paylesswaterheaters.org.