Would you be surprised to learn that the water heater consumes 18 % of the average home’s energy bills? This puts your water heater in second place for energy use, just behind your HVAC system. So finding easy ways to reduce your water heater’s energy usage is a great way to cut back your overall cost on energy.
When your water heater is not working at its peak, you are wasting money and not getting the hot water that you want or need around your home. Fortunately, there are a few very simple ways to increase energy efficiency to save you money each month and increase the hot water available in your home.
Drain And Flush The Tank
Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium build up in your water heater. They settle out of the water that is in the tank are harden into a sediment. That sediment works as insulation over the heat source that warms your hot water, making the unit work harder to heat your water. Eventually, being overworked takes its toll, and the water heater tank overheats or can rupture. But by merely draining and flushing the water heater, the entire issue could have been eliminated.
Professional plumbers recommend draining and flushing your water heater at least once each year. If you have extremely hard water, it could be beneficial to undertake this task every six months. Removal of any sediment allows water to heat more quickly, making it more cost-effective to operate. And you will also enjoy the fact that the recovery rate or time it takes a fresh tank of water to come to temperature will decrease. If you are not comfortable draining and flushing your water heater, call (214) 388-8838 to schedule an appointment with a licensed plumber from Flow Plumbing. The money you spend on the service will increase the life of your water heater and lower your monthly utility bills.
As the hot water flows through your pipes to your faucet or shower, it could be losing valuable temperature. And while the water heater will not realize this, you will. And your reaction will be to turn on more hot water or even to adjust the temperature setting on the unit up. But much of this heat loss can be avoided by insulating your exposed hot water pipes.
The same issue can also occur when water is sitting in your water heater holding tank. Increasing the insulation on the tank can actually increase the temperature of your hot water by 2 to 4 degrees without using any additional energy. Pipe wrap and a water heater blanket are both very easy to install and can be purchased at your local big-box store or hardware store.
It is estimated that a single tiny faucet leak in your home can waste over 1,500 gallons of water a year and cost more than $30. And if that faucet is leaking hot water, you are also paying to heat the water before it runs down the drain. Repairing any leaks in hot water pipes or faucets will save both water and the energy being used to heat it.
As your water heater ages, you might begin to notice tiny leaks at the pipe fittings or pressure relief valve located on the tank. Repairing these leaks quickly will save water and energy and extend the life of your water heater and plumbing lines. A call to (214) 388-8838 is all you need to do to schedule an appointment with a Flow Plumbing pro to inspect your water heater and repair any leaks that are found.
Lower The Temperature
Many homeowners are unaware that all water heaters have a built-in thermostat. This feature allows you to set the temperature of the water in the tank. The hotter you have the thermostat set, the more energy is consumed by heating your water. It is also important to note that water at 160 degrees will burn an adult’s skin in just five seconds. And water heaters can heat water in excess of that temperature. A setting of 120 degrees is considered to be safe from a burn hazard aspect. It will be ideal for bathing and other household use. Any temperature above 120 degrees is wasting energy and could cause severe burns.
It is easy to forget about your water heater when you are evaluating your home’s energy consumption. But this power hog can be throttled back without reducing the amount of hot water available in your home or its comfort level just by following a few of these simple tips. If you have concerns about your water heater or any aspect of your plumbing, call (214) 388-8838 to speak to a Flow Plumbing pro. We are happy to answer your questions and provide free estimates for any work that you might need.