According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters account for close to 17% of a home’s energy usage annually. This is no small figure, so it makes sense that you would want to find some ways to save energy with your water heater. Fortunately, there are a ton of things you can do to consume less hot water and save some cash. Here is a list:
Turn Down Your Tank’s Thermostat
For every 10-degree reduction in temperature on your water heater’s thermostat, you could save anywhere from 3%-5% on your water heating costs. Decide what works best for you and make an adjustment.
Reduce Your Hot Water Use
Stop using so much hot water. A few ways that you can do this include:
- Take showers instead of baths
- Use cold water to wash clothes
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or scrubbing a dirty dish
- Wait to run the dishwasher until it is full
Shut Off Your Water Heater When You Leave
If you’re going to leave town for the weekend or longer, shut off your water heater. When it’s left on, it continues to cycle, so there is a ready supply of hot water. If you’re not home, this is a waste of energy.
Drain Sediment From Your Tank
When your tank has a buildup of sentiment, it is working harder than it should to supply hot water to your home. Periodically draining your tank will get rid of this sediment and keep your unit running as efficiently as possible.
Insulate Your Tank
If your tank is in an unheated space, such as a garage or basement, it might make sense to insulate it with a specialized blanket. However, newer water heaters already come with the insulation you need, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Insulate Your Pipes
If you can insulate the hot water pipes in your home, the water will arrive at its destination up to 4 degrees warmer, saving energy. If you can access the pipes, it’s a simple DIY job with some self-sealing sleeves.
Buy ENERGY-STAR-rated Appliances
If your home’s appliances are of the vintage variety, consider upgrading some of them to ENERGY STAR-qualified ones. For example, an ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwasher uses up to 31% less energy, and an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer can save you over $100 per year over a unit that is more than 10 years old.
Use Low-Flow Fixtures
Older fixtures put out a higher flow of water. You can save as much as 60% by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets, which are required in newer construction.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
Finally, it may be time to upgrade your water heater to achieve more energy efficiency and cost savings. A new ENERGY STAR tank or tankless water heater can also save you as much as $100 per year on your water heating costs.
If you’re ready to explore your options for an upgrade or have any other questions about water heater efficiency, give us a call today. We’ll help resolve your issue fast!