Have you ever wondered how much energy your water heater is using? If you have an electric water heater, the answer is probably “a lot.” In fact, the average household spends about $400 a year on water heating costs.
Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to reduce your water heater’s energy usage. Here are 12 of them:
- Set your water heater to the “vacation” or “low” setting when you’ll be gone for an extended period of time. You can save up to $30 per year on your water heating costs by doing this. Just be sure to reset the temperature when you return.
- Insulate your water heater tank. This will help keep the water hot and reduce heat loss. You can buy an insulation kit for about $20 or hire a professional to do it for you.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket. This is especially helpful if your water heater is located in an unheated space, such as a garage.
- Adjust the temperature of your water heater. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10-degree reduction in temperature, you’ll save about 3-5% on your water heating costs.
- Install a timer on your water heater. This will allow you to set the times when the water heater should be turned on and off. For example, if you know you won’t be using hot water during the day, you can set the timer to turn off the water heater during those hours.
- Use cold water for laundry. About 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes towards heating the water. So, using cold water can save a significant amount of energy. Doing your laundry in cold water can also help extend the life of your clothes.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient water heater. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, consider an energy-efficient model. These models cost more upfront, but they can save you money in the long run.
- Check for leaks. A small leak can waste a lot of water and energy. Check your water heater for leaks on a regular basis and repair any that you find. Water heaters in Provo typically have a life span of about 10 years, so if yours is getting up there in age, it may be time to replace it.
- Flush your water heater. Sediment can build up in your water heater over time, which reduces its efficiency. To remove the sediment, simply flush your water heater once a year.
- Insulate your hot water pipes. This will help keep the hot water hot as it travels from your water heater to your faucets. You can buy pipe insulation at most hardware stores.
- Use less hot water. There are a number of ways to use less hot water, such as taking shorter showers, washing your clothes in cold water, and only running the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Turn off your water heater when you’re not using it. If you know you won’t be using hot water for an extended period of time, such as when you’re on vacation, turn off your water heater. Just be sure to turn it back on when you return.
By following these tips, you can save money on your water heating costs and reduce your energy usage.