One the biggest drains on energy is heating hot water for showers, washing dishes, baths, personal care and everything else we use hot water for.
Tank style water heaters are the most common methods used for heating water, but unfortunately they’re not the most energy efficient, unless the tanks are Energy Star rated.
Upgrading to a more energy efficient unit would be nice but if it’s not an option for you, there are some things you can do to lower your energy bills. And a few gallons less to heat can translate into less energy dollars flowing out of your wallet.
- Control when your water heater is on by scheduling the heating cycles. You can do that by installing a 24-hour mechanical timer and selecting the times you want the heater to be on. That could save you 15% or more of your water heating energy costs if you’re stingy with the on schedule. Check prices of timers
- When you’ll be away for a few days, turn off the water heater. If there is no switch on your heater, shut off the electric panel breaker for the heater. This tip applies to electric water heaters.
- Adjust and lower the hot water temperature. Many heaters are set to maintain water at almost scorching temperatures which is a waste and can also be a hazard. Lower the temperature to a more appropriate setting.
- Electric water heaters can be wrapped with an insulating blanket, which helps to keep heat in. Tank blankets are cheap, easy to apply and are sold at hardware or home renovation outlets.
- If your tank is old or showing signs of rusting at the bottom, upgrading may be wise to avoid a leak disaster. This would be a good time to upgrade to an Energy Star model. Check Water Heater Prices
- Is your heater tank capacity way too much for your needs? It’s a waste of energy keeping 60 gallons of water heated, when 40 gallons would be more than sufficient for your household. Downsizing to a smaller tank (and an Energy Star model) would be a smart energy cost-cutting strategy.
- Use less hot water. Every time you use all that water, it is replaced by cool or cold water that uses more energy to heat another tankful. Find ways to cut back on hot water use such as: Shorter showers, use cold water for washing or a lower water level, use a water-saver showerhead and don’t let the hot water run unnecessarily.
Reducing the amount of hot water you use will actually have two benefits – it will lower your water use if you’re on metered water and will lower your electricity bills.