Are you concerned about high energy bills? Since water heating accounts for 14 to 18 percent of the average homeowner’s energy bill, you can significantly save money on your bills by making a few adjustments to your water heater tank and how you use hot water. Read on to learn about five simple ways you can reduce water heating bills.
Use Less Hot Water
The most obvious solution is to simply use less hot water in your daily life. Look at how you use hot water in your household and find ways to reduce your usage. For example, maybe you start your days with a long hot shower. Try to shorten your showers to cut down the amount of hot water you use.
Do you rinse your dishes with hot water before putting them in the dishwasher? Use cold water instead or just skip the rinsing part, most newer dishwashers can handle dirty dishes. And run the dishwasher less by using it only when it’s full.
When you wash your clothes, use cold water instead of hot or warm water.
For even more results, consider installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. These appliances will let out less water, but you won’t probably notice the difference.
Small changes like these can shave off as much as 60 percent of your water heating bills.
Adjust the Thermostat Settings on the Water Heater
Check the thermostat settings on your water heater – is it set at 140 degrees? Many water heaters are set at 140 degrees when they are installed, but that temperature is often too hot for many hot water uses. Change it to 120 degrees to reduce water heating bills. Don’t worry, you probably won’t notice any difference.
To lower the thermostat settings on your water heater, first measure your hot water with a thermometer at the faucet farthest from the tank. This step is important because many water heaters have inaccurate thermostats. Once you’ve done that, you can adjust your thermostat settings accordingly. Some water heaters have two thermostats; check for that as well.
Drain Sediment Out of the Water Heater
An efficient water heater uses less energy and reduces water heating bills. Make sure that your water heater is performing at its peak efficiency by regularly draining out the sediment buildup caused by very hot water.
To drain your water heater tank, first turn off the water and the power. If you have a gas-powered tank, set the burner to pilot instead of turning it off. Then get your water hose and connect it to the spigot, which is usually found at the bottom of the tank. Point the other end of the hose towards a floor drain and increase the pressure-relief valve on the tank. Once you turn on the spigot, water will flow out from the tank, taking along with it most of the sediment buildup. Wait until at least a quart of water is drained out before you stop draining the tank.
Do this every three months for best results.
Add Insulation to Pipes
If you have exposed pipes that are connected with your water heater that run through unconditioned areas, such as an unfinished basement or a crawl space, you might want to consider insulating them with long, self-sealing sleeves. Insulation will reduce heat loss and thus reduce water heating bills.
Wrap an Insulating Blanket Around the Water Heater
Older water heaters that have an R-value of under 24 will need an insulating blanket to become more efficient in heating your water, which will reduce water heating bills by 4 to 9 percent. If you’re not sure whether your water heater has insulation already installed or not, you can check the label on your tank to find the R-value.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that adding an insulation blanket to a tank that’s already insulated will further reduce water heating bills. Doing this can disrupt critical components and cause problems to your tank.
For more tips on how you can reduce water heating bills in your Gaston area home, please contact us at Ross & Witmer. We also serve the Charlotte, Mecklenburg and Union areas.
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