Water Heater Tips for Lower Water Heating Bill

Water Heater Tips for Lower Water Heating Bill

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that water heaters contribute to around 18 percent of your total utility bill. While a chilly day might not stop you from taking a hot shower, it helps to know that hot water, in general, is the second-largest energy expense at home.

The use of hot water at home may be something a lot of us take for granted. Whether we use it to clean dishes, do laundry, or take a shower, hot water is undeniably an essential component of our everyday lives.

Before your next energy bill surprises you with unforeseen amounts, it’s time to reevaluate your usage and consider these water heater maintenance tips to save some money.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips

1. Set Your Thermostat

Several manufacturers recommend setting their water heater thermostats as high as 140°F. However, PEC Energy Service Advisor Brian Curtsinger mentions that a typical household would not need to spend extra energy to heat water by lowering the thermostat to around 120°F to 125°F. This slight decrease in temperature not only cuts down costs but also slows down corrosion and mineral buildup in your water heating unit.

2. Repair Leaky Faucets

An essential part of water heater repair involves repairing leaky faucets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reports that 10 percent of homes have plumbing leaks that waste over 90 gallons of water daily. To avoid this, make sure to check outdoor faucets and have your faucets repaired immediately.

3. Install a Timer

A traditional water heater tank usually runs continuously, wasting a lot of electricity. To ensure you don’t consume electricity when your unit is not in use, consider installing a timer to switch your heater off at night. It will help conserve energy and add more years to your unit’s life.

4. Install Heat Traps

A lot of modern water heating units are designed with built-in heat traps. They permit cold water to flow into the water heater tank and keep hot water from flowing out. Installing heat traps may be feasible if your unit is still in good condition even after over ten years of use.

5. Insulate Your Water Heater Tank

Insulating your storage tank minimizes heat loss and keeps your unit from turning on more frequently. When doing so, make sure to follow manufacturer recommendations like avoiding covering the water heater’s burner and thermostat.

6. Insulate Pipes

In addition to insulating your water heater tank, another viable solution is to add insulation to the first six feet of cold and hot water pipes connected to your unit. It keeps you from fire hazards and allows your system to conserve heat more efficiently.

7. Drain the Tank

It’s an ideal practice to drain your water heating unit annually to remove sediments that hinder heat transfer and lower your unit’s efficiency. It’s a relatively straightforward process, but it’s still important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific unit you have.

7. Reconsider Demand-type Heaters

If you’re planning to replace your water heating device, you might want to reconsider purchasing demand-type or tankless water heaters. Curtsinger mentions that a gas on-demand system is more efficient than an electric on-demand system, as the latter is not deemed cost-effective for an entire home.

Curtsinger’s co-advisor Chris Denison mentioned that gas systems warm water faster using combustion, compared to electrical systems that use heating elements, which are slower and use a significant amount of energy.

8. Avoid Hot Water Circulating Pumps

You might have turned on your shower or faucet and waited for the water to get warm, wasting gallons of water. With hot water circulating pumps, however, you have hot water constantly flowing through your pipes.

Denison mentions that, although hot water circulating pumps save a lot of water, these units also increase your electric bill. Moreover, the added heat inside your walls and floors overworks your air conditioning and elevates your electric bill.

Replacing Your Water Heating Unit

There are several different options available if you plan to replace your water heater. Among these, a tankless water heating unit stands out as an ideal choice. These units last for over 20 years and can save you 70 to 80 dollars annually.

If you want to learn more about other water heating replacement options, check out this infographic by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Choose A Better Plumber

Let our team help you maintain and repair your water heating unit.

From our humble beginnings as a sewer inspection and location service in 2011, A Better Plumber now houses one of Colorado’s most-trusted plumbing services. We employ a highly-trained and dedicated team of experienced plumbers in Arvada, CO, who are qualified to meet your water heater repair needs. For inquiries and appointments, contact us today.

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