Ten Tips For Water Heater Energy Efficiency
What do showers, baths, dishwashing, laundry and hand washing have in common? They all require hot water use, which means your water heater stays busy. Whether you have a gas hot water heater, an electric hot water heater, a tankless hot water heater or a solar powered model, finding ways to be more energy efficient can preserve natural resources and help you save money. According to www.energysavers.gov, water heating can make up 14-25% of a home’s energy consumption, a significant portion of your power bill.
Here are some things that you can do to maximize your water heater’s efficiency:
• If you have a traditional gas or electric hot water heater, consider installing a tankless unit. Tankless water heaters increase energy savings by heating water on demand instead of storing it for later use. They may be more expensive initially, but can mean significant savings on energy use and costs in the long run.
• Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to save on energy consumption and to prevent scalding accidents.
• Make sure that your water heater is properly insulated. In addition to saving energy, insulation can help reduce CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for what type of insulation to use and how to properly wrap the tank. (Always be sure to disconnect electric or gas power to the water heater before doing any work.) In many cases, it’s also a good idea to insulate any visible and accessible pipes that are connected to the heater. With gas water heaters, be sure to keep the insulation away from the flue.
• If you are building a home or remodeling one, place the water heater as close as possible to the location that will likely have the most hot water usage. By reducing the time that the hot water travels, you can conserve energy.
• Consider installing an energy efficient solar water heating system.
• Be sure to have regular maintenance performed by a qualified plumbing contractor to keep your water heater running efficiently. At the minimum, have it inspected annually. AHS®/Rescue Rooter® plumbing specialists check the pressure relief valve, drain the tank to remove any sediment (if recommended for your model), inspect the tank and connections for rust, wear or corrosion, replace worn anode rods, and more.
• For electric water heaters, install a timer that turns the unit off when it’s not used frequently.
• Make sure your water heater is the right size for your household. If your water heater is too big for your needs, you are wasting energy.
• Take shorter showers! Time yourself, and make it a goal to cut your shower time in half.
• Consider installing an energy efficient, low flow shower head and other energy efficient appliances, like dishwashers and clothes washers to reduce the demand and wear on your water heater. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label.
For all your water heater service needs, including inspections, installations, and repair problems, contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® plumbing specialist.