Did you know that heating water for your faucets, showers and appliances can consume up to 20% of your home’s energy? That’s a big slice of any homeowner’s budget. But the good news is that you can reduce your utility bill and cut down your energy use with some relatively simple steps.
#1: Energy-efficient heaters can reduce costs
The easiest place to start is by choosing an energy-efficient water heater. Water heaters that use less energy cost less to operate, so if you’re in the market for a new water heater, remember to factor in those savings.
#2: Upgrade your faucets and shower heads
When you use less water, there’s less water to heat. So install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads in your kitchens and bathrooms. They’ll cut down on water use – and your energy bill. Keep an eye out for leaky faucets because they can waste gallons of water in a short period of time. One drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water per year, according to the Department of Energy.
#3: Check your pipes for insulation
Adding insulation around piping can minimize heat loss. Insulate at least the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes that connect to your water heater. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on insulation.
#4: Optimize your thermostat settings
Consider setting the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will provide comfortable hot water for most uses, and save you money in the long run.
#5: Maintain your system
Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to do this safely.
For information only. Not applicable to all situations.
Original version of this article written by Ernest Freeman, VP Loss Control Engineering at Hartford Steam Boiler, can be found on their blog.