19 Sep Seven Tips for Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Your Water Heater
Rising energy costs have homeowners searching for ways to lower their energy bills. There are a number of easy, DIY solutions for reducing the amount of energy consumed by your water heater. Below are seven quick tips for maximizing the energy efficiency of your water heater.
1) Lower the Thermostat to 120
Water heater temperatures are often set higher than what is necessary to supply homes with warm water. If you recently moved into a new home, or you have never checked the thermostat on your water heater, you may need to consult the owner’s manual for instructions on how to access and lower the thermostat.
Often homeowners do not realize how high the thermostat is set. Reducing the temperature is an excellent opportunity for energy savings.
2) Flush the Storage Tank
Over time, the storage tank will fill with sediment, which cause it to heat water much less efficiently. It is important to flush the tank of sediment and debris at least three times a year. This will allow the tank to reset with fresh water and recover a considerable amount of energy loss. It is especially important to flush the system before winter, when your water heater will be working overtime.
It is important to flush the tank of sediments and debris at least three times a year.
3) Insulate the Storage Tank and Pipes
By wrapping your water heater with an insulated blanket, you can reduce heat loss by as much as 40%, which can translate to as much as a 5% reduction of your overall energy consumption. Additionally, you can wrap the exposed, accessible hot water pipes with pipe insulation. Pipe insulation costs as little as $1 per 6 feet and can raise the water temperature by as much as 4 degrees.
It is very important to use only proper insulation for the hot water pipes and water heater; otherwise, it can become a fire hazard. However, with safety in mind, insulating the storage tank and pipes can lead to considerable energy savings.
4) Install Heat Traps
Heat traps increase water heater efficiency by preventing hot water from spilling into the outlet pipes while still allowing cold water to flow into the tank through the inlet pipes. Most modern water heaters are pre-installed with heat traps, but for older systems, heat traps are relatively inexpensive and will increase the efficiency of your system.
5) Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Between 75 and 90% of the total energy used to wash clothes is heating the water; however, washing clothes in cold water increases the life of your clothing. Additionally, washing clothes in cold water helps clothes maintain their shape, size, and color longer.
Washing clothes in cold water can reduce your annual energy consumption by $40 to $60, while preserving the life and color of your clothes, and reducing the stress on your water heater.
6) Take Shorter Showers
By taking shorter showers, not leaving the water running while washing dishes, installing low flow water fixtures, and only running your dishwasher for full loads, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and maximize your water heater’s efficiency.
Combining smart water usage with proper water heater maintenance can reduce your energy bills and save you from expensive water heater repairs.
7) Regular and Proper Maintenance
Regular and proper maintenance of your water heater is the best practice for maximizing its energy efficiency. Our free guide will walk you through six simple DIY steps to effective water heater maintenance.