5 Tips to Help Water Heaters use less Energy so You Pay Lower Utility Bills!

Published on: August 9, 2012

Water heaters can be a source of high energy costs if not used properly to save energy. The way you heat your homes water can account for up to 18 percent of your energy bill. There are a number of things you can do that will help you to keep your water heater operating more efficiently and save yourself some money. Here are just five ways to help your energy efficiency so you pay lower utility bills.

Adjust the thermostat:
The temperature that you set your water heater to makes a difference in your energy bill. Water heaters operate most efficiently at around 120 degrees. This gets your water hot enough without wasting energy.

Insulate the Storage Tank:
Wrapping you homes hot water heater in insulation can help it to retain the hot water longer, creating more energy efficiency. When the water heater is wrapped with insulation it keeps the water hot for longer periods of time, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the water up again. When wrapping the water heater with insulation, be careful not to cover up the thermostat. Insulating about 6 feet of the hot and cold water lines that run into the tank can also help to save you energy.

Replace or Repair Leaky Faucets:
You can lose a lot of money if your faucet is leaking. In a very short time, gallons of water can be lost down the drain, costing you money not only in energy but in your water bill as well. Most of the time, a leaky faucet can be repaired by replacing the washer inside the faucet. If that is not the problem, you may want to consider replacing the faucet altogether. When replacing the faucet, getting a low-flow faucet can produce more energy efficiency in your home.

Replace Old Appliances:
If you have older appliances such as a clothes washer or dishwasher that you have considered replacing, look for new appliances with the Energy Star logo to provide more energy efficiency in your home. Energy Star appliances use less hot water, helping your hot water heaters to last longer and not have to work so hard. You may even want to consider replacing the water heater itself with a newer Energy Star model. There are also a number of special discounts and rebates available to help you purchase new Energy Star appliances. Check with your local retailer or home improvement center for the best rebates and discounts available in your area.

Drain your Water Heater Regularly:
Sediment can build up in water heaters over time from the minerals in the water that get deposited into the bottom of the tank. Draining about a gallon of water from your tank every three months or so can help remove the sediment that has collected in the water heater, helping the unit to operate longer. You can drain the tank by placing a bucket under the spigot at the bottom of the tank and draining about a gallon of water from the water heater.