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It’s no secret that utility bills can be expensive, especially during the winter months. And, although we all enjoy the luxury of a hot bath or shower, it comes at a price. Energy costs are continuously going higher and higher and with that in mind, it’s time to focus on your water heating bills.
Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home and accounts for 12% of your utility bill. However, there are several ways that you can lower your bills without sacrificing comfort. To help with water saving, energy and money saving, follow these simple tips.
Seven Water Heater Saving Tips
- Use Less Water. The simplest water heating tip to save money is to use less water. You’d be surprised at how much you can reduce your usage without even noticing it. Some older showerheads have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute. Newer models flow at less than half the rate and get you just as clean.
- Insulate Your Tank. Insulating your hot water tank is a great idea, but you need to be careful. If it’s electric, you want to make sure that you don’t cover the thermostat. If it’s natural gas or oil, make sure you don’t cover the top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. For the safest insulation, call a professional to help you.
- Use Less Heat. Even though new water heaters sometimes come from the manufacturers with temperatures set at 140-degrees, many people have found that you can lower your water heater temperature to 120-degrees and still be comfortable. Give it a try and see for yourself.
- Insulate Your Pipes. When lowering your water heater temperature, you might also want to consider insulating your hot water pipes at the same time. The reason is that insulated water pipes can deliver water that’s up to 4-degrees hotter than uninsulated pipes. Be sure to insulate the pipes within 3 feet of the water heater. Make sure you’re careful. On gas water heaters, you need to make sure that you keep the insulation at least 6 inches from the flue.
- Install a Timer. If you have an electric water heater, a timer is a great idea. It’s relatively inexpensive and saves you money by turning off the water heater at night. Best of all, you can install one yourself!
- Install Heat Traps. If you have a newer water heater, you might already have heat traps. However, if you don’t, you might want to consider installing them. Heat traps are basically valves or loops that are specifically designed to stop hot water from flowing out of your tank when you don’t want it to. But, because it involves soldering pipe joints and requires a certain amount of knowledge about plumbing and heating, it’s advisable to hire a qualified professional.
- Flush Your Water Heater Annually. There are three reasons why you should flush the sediment from your hot water heater at least once a year. First, you’ll have more room in your tank to store hot water for your showers and baths. Second, it’ll keep bacteria from growing in your tank. Most importantly, it’ll save you money on your energy bill because your tank will operate more efficiently.
Now is the time to start saving money on your water heating bill. For more tips about how to save energy and money, follow Connect Building Service’s blog.