Hot Water Heaters: How to Conserve Energy—and Save Big Bucks!
Hot water heaters are invaluable, and for most of us, it is impossible to imagine living without them. Without a hot water heater, of course, your home couldn’t offer hot showers, and even dishwashers and laundry machines would be unable to function at peak level. As prized as they are, hot water heaters can also put a major burden on your home energy bills.
Thankfully, though, there are ways to avoid extravagant utility expenses—to conserve energy by properly insulating and utilizing your water heater. By following these tips, you can take a real chip out of your monthly utility bills.
How to Reduce Water Heater Energy Waste
- Insulating your pipes is one of the best things you can do to minimize energy waste. As hot water travels from the water heater itself to the faucet, heat can be lost, especially when the pipes are bare and exposed. It is usually not possible to insulate all of the pipes in your home, but you can insulate the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes, coming from the heater—and this alone can make a huge difference.
- Insulation of the water heater itself is also recommended, though it is important to follow the manufacturer guidelines and avoid covering the top and bottom of the heater, or the thermostat. Generally speaking, it is prudent to enlist professional help for this task.
- Another way to reduce energy waste is to reduce the amount of water you waste. Think about installing low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Also make it a priority to repair leaky faucets as promptly as possible. Your leaky faucet may not seem like it is a big deal, but even a minor leak can lead to gallons upon gallons of waste in a short span of time.
- Every three months or so, drain a quart of water from the heater’s tank. This helps get rid of any sediment that has built up, and that might diminish the efficiency of your water heater.
Long-Term Energy Savings
Sooner or later, of course, your hot water heater will need to be replaced. While many newer models last 15 or even 20 years, they do not last forever—and when the time comes to have a new one installed, it is smart to invest in an energy-efficient model. The initial cost will be a bit steeper, but the energy savings, over the lifetime of the water heater, will prove substantial.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort in order to cut back on your home energy use. Contact our plumbers today to learn more about how you can implement any of these cost-saving solutions!