How to Lower Your Water Heating Costs

Heating your water is a major expense. In fact, water heating is the third largest energy expense in the average U.S home. It typically accounts for about 12% of your utility bill. Following the tips below will help lower your utility bills.

Tips for Lowering Your Water Heating Costs:

1. Conserve hot water. You can conserve hot water by washing your clothes in cold water. If you prefer warm water, then choose cold water for the rinse cycle.

2. Lower your water heater thermostat. The water heater temperature is usually set higher than needed. Many hot water heaters are set to 150 degrees Fahrenheit which is much hotter than necessary. Turn yours down to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Insulate your hot water tank. Insulating your tank can prevent energy loss. According to the US Department of Energy, "Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%-45%. This will save you around 4%-9% in water heating costs." Use extreme caution to avoid covering up the gas heating elements. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Consult with a professional plumber if you are unsure of how to insulate your hot water heater.

4. Insulate your water heater pipes. Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

5. Purchase a new energy efficient hot water heater. Most heaters need to be replaced after 15 years. Make sure to check the AFUE and BTU levels for efficiency. Check that the heater is an Energy Star certified product.

6. Remove sediment from the tank. Sediment buildup can cause your water heater to run inefficiently. Check the heater for sediment every three months.

7. Install heat traps. Heat traps installed on the hot and cold pipes that are connected to the water heater will prevent heat loss. Heat traps are devices installed on the incoming, and sometimes outgoing water lines to prevent heat from escaping from the stored hot water. Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps.

8. Install a tankless water heater. For the ultimate water heating cost savings, install a tankless water heater. Unlike conventional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat just the water you need. Conventional heaters continuously heat your water, which is a huge waste of energy. Tankless water heaters are one of the best ways to conserve energy in your home.

9. Install a timer and use off-peak power for electric water heaters. If you have an electric water heater, you can save an additional 5%-12% of energy by installing a timer. Set the timer to turn the heater off at night when you don't use hot water.

10. Take shorter showers. Cutting your shower time in half can save up to 33% on your hot water heating costs.


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