In most homes, the water heater is the second greatest energy cost you’re paying for, after your heating and cooling system. But, with a few simple steps, energy savings are easy to achieve. Here are four tips to easily save some energy (and dollars) on your hot water usage.
1. Use less hot water.
This may seem like common sense, but people waste a lot of hot water. For example, a family of four uses about 700 gallons of water a week just on showering. To put that in perspective, this equals one person’s three-year supply of drinking water. Cut down on time in the shower, and invest in low-flow showerheads and faucets. They cost about $20 and are able to lower how much water you’re consuming by 60 percent.
Another easy way to save on water usage is by running your dishwasher on the “economy” setting. This lowers the amount of water your dishwasher expends and gives your water heater a break.
2. Lower the thermostat on your water heater.
If you are adding cold water to your shower’s hot water, the thermostat on your water heater is turned up too high. Turning the temperature down by 10 degrees saves up to 5 percent on your energy bill.
Energy savings aren’t the only benefit to turning the water down; doing so also lowers the risk of family members scalding themselves.
3. Get rid of sediment.
If you don’t have a tankless water heater (which has some incredible benefits), you need to drain the tank and remove sediment. Any buildup in the water heater reduces efficiency. Draining the tank is simple:
- Turn off the water heater’s power and water.
- Look for the spigot at the base of the tank and attach a garden hose.
- Place the other end of the hose someplace where the water can flow.
- Turn on the spigot, and the tank will begin to empty.
Do this every six months, or drain about a quart of water every few months.
4. Insulation is key.
Insulate anything you can – pipes, the tank itself, the room your tank is in. When you insulate the pipes, water heating is a faster process. And the water arrives at the faucet a few degrees warmer.
Insulting your water heater is an easy and inexpensive DIY project that saves energy and money. It can even be as simple as wrapping your water heater in a blanket during the cold winter months.
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Now that you’re saving on your water heater, learn how to save on heating and cooling your home! Check out our 6 Heating And Cooling System Tips For Year-Round Comfort And Savings.
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