Did you know that the typical U.S. household spends $1,464 annually on energy bills? And a pretty large chunk of that comes from your water heater (about 20%). So it’s no surprise that having an energy-efficient water heater can save you a lot of money over time!
Here are a few tips to help you make your water heater more energy efficient to save money each month.
4 cost-free water heater tips
You don’t have to splurge on a new energy-efficient water heater to save money (although that can certainly help!). There are several things you can do to your current water heater to help it run more efficiently:
1. Lower your water heater temperature
One of the simplest ways to make your water heater more energy efficient is to lower the temperature. Most people have their water heaters set too high, which wastes energy and can actually be dangerous. The Department of Energy and the Consumer Product Safety Commission both agree that water heaters should be set to 120°F.
2. Cut back on baths
Baths may be relaxing, but they use a ton of hot water. A full bathtub uses about 50 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower uses only about 25 gallons. So, if you’re looking to save energy and money, take fewer baths and more showers.
3. Wash laundry with cold water
Did you know most clothes can actually be washed with cold water and still come out clean? In fact, dark clothes and colors shouldn’t be washed with hot water at all since they can cause them to fade. Set your washing machine to cold, and you’ll save money each time you do a load of laundry.
4. Don’t pre-rinse dishes
Dishwashers are an amazing invention that can save you a lot of time! But many people still do dishwashing the old-fashioned way — by pre-rinsing their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. In most cases, this isn’t necessary and is actually a waste of energy and water. Just scrape your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher and let them do their job.
5 low-cost water heater maintenance tips
In addition to the tips above, you can make a few small investments to help maintain your water heater and keep it running efficiently.
You see, as water heaters age, they become less energy efficient. Parts wear out and need to be replaced. Sediment can build up in the tank and cause problems. That’s why keeping up with water heater maintenance is important – it can help your water heater last longer and run better. Here are a few low-cost maintenance tips to increase water heater efficiency:
1. Drain your water heater tank
Draining your water heater once a year eliminates the harmful sediment that decreases its efficiency. Although this is not difficult to do, always make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions.
If you have questions or don’t feel confident in your skills, get help from a professional the next time you need to do water heater maintenance. They’ll do a lot more than just drain your tank — they’ll also inspect your water heater for any potential problems and make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible.
2. Repair any leaks
Leaks account for a lot of wasted money! If you have a leaky faucet or showerhead, make sure to repair it as soon as possible. Even a drippy faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of hot water before you realize it.
And a leak from your water heater or pipes can cause serious water damage. So, if you see any signs of a water leak, make that a top priority.
3. Insulate your water heater tank and pipes
Keeping your water heater tank and pipes insulated can help prevent heat loss, so your water heater doesn’t have to work as hard to heat the water.
You can buy a water heater insulation blanket and pipe wrap insulation at your local hardware store. You can even wrap them yourself with materials you probably already have around the house, like old towels or blankets (but these won’t be as effective at storing heat). Just make sure to keep any insulation away from the exhaust vent or pilot light.
4. Install low-flow showerheads
Low-flow showerheads use less water without sacrificing water pressure, so you can save money without feeling like you’re taking a lukewarm shower.
5. Upgrade to an energy-saving water heater
Most water heaters only last around 6-12 years, so if yours is approaching the end of its lifespan, you may want to consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model.
There are many energy-saving water heaters on the market, and many utility companies offer rebates to help offset the cost of a new unit.
Energy-saving water heaters to consider
Heat pump water heater
A heat pump water heater uses electricity to move heat from one place to another, which is much more energy efficient than using electricity to generate heat.
Tankless water heater
A tankless water heater heats water on demand, so you’re not paying to heat a tank of water that you may not even use.
Solar water heater
A solar water heater uses energy from the sun to heat water, so it’s about as energy efficient as it gets!
Comprehensive water heater services and repairs
If you’re unsure which energy-saving water heater is right for you, we can help you choose the best option for your home and budget.
By following the tips above, you can make your water heater more energy efficient and save money on your energy bill. And don’t forget to keep up with regular maintenance – it’s the best way to keep your water heater running efficiently for years to come.
Need help with water heater maintenance? We’re here to help you save money and energy.
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