Water heaters are a great convenience but if you do not know how to operate them properly, you will experience great financial losses paying high heating bills. The water heating costs in a typical American home make up to 18% of the total energy costs according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you desire to substantially save on your water heating bills, consider the following tips to shorten water use at your home and improve the efficiency of your water heater.
- Leaking faucets need to be repaired as soon as you notice the problem, since a dripping faucet can cause the loss of gallons of water every day.
- You can conserve water and energy by running your dishwashers, clothes washers and other hot water usage appliances only when they are fully loaded.
- Develop a habit to take more showers than baths. Baths use excessive amounts of hot water in an average home. Compare 15 to 25 gallons of hot water used for taking a bath and less than 10 gallons for a five-minute shower. You can see the difference for yourself.
- Aerated faucets and low-flow showerheads will also significantly lower your water heating costs.
- Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. Such a temperature provides comfortable hot water for various uses. Electric water heaters usually have two thermostats, one for the upper and lower heating elements. They should be adjusted to the same temperatures to make sure that the work is done by both elements, thus preventing the premature wearing out of one element in case if it is overloaded.
- Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and watch out not to cover the thermostat.
- Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank without covering the water heater’s thermostat or burner compartment. Follow recommendations of the manufacturer.
- Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes attached to your water heater.
- If there is an electric water heater at your home, it will be best to install a timer that automatically turns the hot water off at night and turns it on in the morning. An ordinary timer will pay for itself in about a year.
- If your water heater is old, consider replacing it with a new high-efficiency system.
At Orange County Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning we really hope that these simple tips will help you lower your heating bills. If you want to find out more about ways to save bucks with water heaters, contact us today and we will gladly answer all your questions.