Stop Your Water Heater From Costing You Hundreds
We talk a lot about heating the air in your home, but heating your water can cost just as much. Water heaters are known for drawing money out of your wallet and down the drain if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are some quick fixes you can grind out in a weekend, and some easy behavior changes to start implementing that can save you hundreds every year.
Turn It Down
This is obvious, and the easy one. Have you ever taken the time to look at the temperature your water heater keeps your water? The average household only needs the thermostat set to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Just for turning the setting down ten degrees, you can save about five percent every month on your bill. Turning the heat down can also keep you and your family safer, by making it more difficult for scalding water to reach its way to your sinks, showers, and faucets.
Simply Use Less Water
Good for not only yourself but also the environment and water conservation efforts, changing a few key behaviors could exponentially save more energy and water from being wasted.
Take Short Showers, Not Baths
Even if you take a quick five-minute shower, a family of four uses 700 gallons of water each week — that’s a ton of water being heated and spent. When it comes to bathing, the shorter the better, and only think of a large heated bath as a luxury. The average bath draws about 15 gallons of hot water, while a normal shower uses only nine.
Wash It Cold
Have you ever tried washing your clothes in cold water? There are new effective detergents specially made for cold water washing, which can dramatically reduce the amount of hot water you use every week, especially if you’re doing laundry for an entire household. If you really must wash your laundry in warm water, at least always use cold water for the rinse cycle, as this doesn’t affect the cleaning process.
Turn the Faucet Off
This suggestion is as old as the books, but it’s still important. If you usually let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth, don’t. If you’re doing dishes by hand, fill the sink and only let the water run in short spurts for a rinse. Soap up your hands before turning the water on to wash them. These might seem like insignificant uses, but remember that every time you turn on that hot water, a huge appliance has to turn on, heat water to over 100 degrees, and then get transported up to you.
Spruce Up the Hardware
Changing your water usage behavior is a huge part of saving on your water heater, but there are also equipment and space changes that can preserve your heat and your savings.
Insulate Your Pipes and Your Heater
Your water heater uses a lot of energy to get that water to the temperature you want it, so you’ll want to do everything you can to keep that heat from escaping into the air. So what’s the fix? A simple insulation installation around the pipes through which the water is transported around your home, and the water heater itself will help trap that heat in where it needs to be.
Drain Sediment from the Tank
Water tanks naturally build up sediment from use, but that sediment can be costing you. The more build up in your tank, the harder your heater has to work to warm every drop of water, and the shorter your heater will last. It’s incredibly easy to drain the tank though, and will only take you about 15 minutes — manufacturers recommend you do this every year, but efficiency experts say about every three months.
Fix Those Leaks
Just one drip per second from a leaking faucet can translate into over 3,153 gallons of water wasted per year, which means you’re paying for that wasted water, and you’re paying to heat it. Sometimes a simple tightening is all your faucet needs to keep your well-earned hot water safe and ready for efficient use.
We know it’s easy to keep old showerheads and faucets, but it could be increasing your water usage by 25 to 65 percent! Today, federal regulations require showerheads and faucets to have low flow rates, but there could be hardware in your home predating that 1992 mandate and costing everyone huge amounts of water.
You see? It’s a pretty simple process to update your appliances and make small changes to your daily routine that will show up on your bill as big savings. How else do you save money on your water heater?