There are a lot of things that we all tend to take for granted inside of our homes. Take your water heater, for example. When you walk up to your kitchen sink in order to wash some dishes or walk into your bathroom to take a nice long shower, do you ever stop to think about what would happen if your water heater wasn’t working? Basically, that would mean no more hot water for you and your family.
There’s another time when water heaters are not given much thought. It’s whenever your water bill arrives in the mail. Although the amount indicates how much is owed based on the amount of water that is used, the reality is that a significant part of the bill reflects our hot water usage.
So if you’re curious to know about some of the things that you can do to reduce the amount of energy that you consume as it directly relates your water heater, here are five tips that can help you to keep a few more dollars in your pocket each month.
Turn down the thermostat. According to many reports on energy conservation, for every 10 degrees that you turn down your thermostat, you are actually able to save about seven percent on your energy bill. So, although most water heaters come preset at 140, consider reducing yours to around 120 degrees. Your water will still be very warm, but you won’t have to spend as much money on water each month.
Use less hot water. Here’s something that might surprise you. Did you know that a family of four who showers only five minutes each day can use as much as 700 gallons of water every single week? That can definitely add up. One way to reduce the amount of water that you use in the shower is to install a low-flow showerhead. It’s just as effective as any other showerhead. Plus, it can save you 20-30 percent on energy costs.
Drain the sediment. When your water tank has sediment built up inside of it, that can prevent it from working as effectively as it should. That’s why you should make a point to clean yours out 1-2 times each year. You can do so by turning off the water and the power that is directly connected to the water heater. Then connect a garden hose to the spigot that is located at the base of the tank. Finally, with the other end of the hose pointed directly at your floor drain, lift up your water tank’s pressure release valve and then turn on the spigot. Water (and sediment) should begin to immediately flow out. Let it continue to do so until your water runs clean.
Insulate your water pipes. If you were to read an article on home water heater settings, something that it might mention is that it’s important to insulate your exposed water pipes. The reason why is because when you make a point to do so and you turn on your hot water faucet, the insulation will actually cause the water to arrive to you 2-4 degrees warmer than if the pipes weren’t insulated. The best materials to insulate your pipes with are either fiberglass or foam. You can read more on how to insulate them yourself by going to DIY Network and putting “insulate pipes” in the search field.
Insulate your water tank as well. If you have an older water tank and it’s located in an unheated space inside of your home, it’s important that you insulate it as well. All you need to do is put an insulating blanket on top of it. That will prevent the tank from overworking itself during cold weather temperatures and that will save you money as a direct result. For information on insulating blankets for water heaters, visit a Lowe’s or Home Depot in your area.