When trying to reduce your electricity bills, it is important you focus on the many appliances in your home and how much energy each of them consumes daily. Do you know a large amount of your electricity bills probably goes to producing hot water? So, if you’re trying to be more energy efficient and cut back on cost, it makes sense to concentrate your efforts on streamlining your heating and hot water systems. This means running your water heater efficiently.
Five ways to keep your water heater from being an energy hog.
Turn down your tank thermostat
Most water heaters come preset at 60℃ and this adds to your electricity bill. For every 10 degrees you turn down, you save at least 3% to 5% on your bill. It’s recommended you set your thermostat to 49 ℃. This temperature is high enough for your needs, and high enough to reduce mineral build up in your tank.
How to ensure you get 49 ℃:
- The first measure is to see what temperature your heater is at now. The thermostats are often inaccurate so instead, use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the hot water at the faucet farthest away from the heater.
- Mark that temperature on your thermostat to remember the setting.
- Based on your earlier measurement turn down the temperature to what you think is 49 ℃.
- Wait for 2 hours and measure the water temperature again at the same far-away faucet.
Insulate your water-storage hot tank
For electric tanks, be careful not to cover the thermostat, and for natural gas or oil hot water storage tanks, be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.
Exposed pipes easily cause waste through leaks. These leaks can increase your electricity bill by 3% to 5% each month.
Drain the Sediment
Tanks naturally build up sediment, which reduces efficiency and makes energy saving difficult. Drain the tank once or twice a year, and you don’t necessarily have to drain it completely.
How to drain your water heater tank:
- Turn off the water and power to the unit. On a gas unit, set the burner to “pilot.”
- Connect a garden hose to the spigot at the base of the tank.
- With the other end of the hose pointed at your floor drain, carefully lift the tank’s pressure-relief valve and turn on the tank’s spigot; water should begin to flow.
Install heat traps on your water heater tank
Heat traps are valves or loops that allow cold water to flow into a water heater tank, but prevent unwanted convection and heated water to flow out of the tank. You may need a professional to help you install them on your existing tank, but some new storage water heaters include heat traps.