Your water heater is an important part of your home’s function – but it’s also one of the biggest energy draws. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that a household water heater accounts for as much as 20% of a home’s energy bill.
Here are some handy tips to help you maximize the efficiency of your water heater and reduce your overall home energy costs.
Try Lowering The Temperature On Your Water Heater’s Thermostat
An easy way to start cutting costs is lowering the temperature of your water heater. The higher your settings, the more electricity your heater will have to use to keep the water at the desired temperature, which can put a huge drain on your electrical system. And chances are, you aren’t even noticing those extra few degrees.
The National Institutes of Health suggests that residential water heaters should be set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher not only uses more energy, but also puts you and others in your household at risk of scalding burns.
Clean water that flows through your home still has minute traces of minerals like calcium and magnesium in it, which can build up and sit at the bottom of a tank-style water heater. If not cleaned out regularly, this sediment can make your heater work harder to keep the water at the same temperature, which uses more energy and drives your electric bill up.
You should flush your hot water heater annually to get rid of sediment that has collected at the bottom of your tank, unless you live somewhere that has hard water. In that case, you may need to flush your system every 6 months or as recommended by your water heater technician.
During the winter, your water heater has to work harder to keep your water warm, especially if it’s located in a basement or garage that’s cooler than the rest of your home. You can help offset this by insulating your heater during the winter so the appliance doesn’t lose as much heat.
There are a few different ways you can insulate your water heater – with premade blankets with cutouts for pipes and controls, reflective coverings, and even DIY insulation folded over the heater and taped down.
When shopping for a water heater covering, keep in mind that the higher quality the blanket, the more efficient it will be at insulating your appliance from heat loss. Although taping insulation from a home hardware store to your water heater is cheaper, it’s not going to perform as well as a blanket or covering that is specially designed to insulate and protect a water heater.
Low-flow faucets are a great way to conserve hot water. Many faucet designs, especially older ones, are made for looks versus efficiency and use way more water than they actually need. You can save thousands of gallons of water per year just by using low-flow faucets, which not only helps to stretch your available hot water, it also saves you money on your utility bills.
Plus, low-flow faucets and other fixtures that are designed to use minimal water put less wear and tear on your whole system. Lower flow rates erode the inside of your pipes more slowly, helping them to function better and last longer.
And don’t be afraid to switch to a low-flow showerhead either. Just make sure it has proper aeration and enough water pressure to meet your needs. Again, many showerheads aren’t created to use water wisely and don’t have the features needed to optimize water usage. Look for one that does so you can save more hot water without sacrificing your shower comfort.
Since your water heater is such an integral part of the function of your home, it’s important to make sure it’s working properly and as efficiently as possible. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we offer trustworthy and reliable hot water heater service in Boston, Massachusetts and surrounding areas, so you can relax knowing your appliance is properly cared for.
Contact us today to learn more about how to save money on your water heating bill or to set up a time for our technicians to come to your location and provide a quote for new installation, repair, maintenance, and more. Call now by dialing (781) 933-6387 or reach us via our short online contact form and our team will return your query as soon as possible.