Save Money on Your Water Heating Bills And Spend it on The Holidays Instead

Posted by admin on November 17, 2014, at 8:44 pm

reduce water heating billsThe cost of heating water accounts for a sizable share of your monthly utility bills, so finding ways to provide the hot water you need at a lower cost makes a lot of sense. Reducing water heating bills in your Dayton area home does not have to involve major investments in equipment upgrades or settling for taking short, cold showers every morning. Following are a few steps you can take that are either free or will not cost much to implement, so you can use the money you save on the holidays instead.

Lower the Water Heater Thermostat Setting

Many water heaters are set at the factory to provide water at 140 degrees F. You can reduce your water heating bills significantly by lowering this temperature to 120 degrees. Water at that temperature is hot enough for your household needs, will reduce sediment deposition in your tank, and is safer for small children in your household.

Your water heater probably has a temperature control knob with markings for very hot to warm settings, but no precise temperature scale. To reduce your water temperature to 120 degrees, first measure the hot water temperature at the faucet farthest from your water heater. Adjust the control knob on your heater down in small increments, letting the tank stabilize for a couple of hours after each adjustment, until the heater is providing water at the temperature you want.

Reduce Hot Water Use

Save energy by reducing how much hot water you use. Install low-flow devices on kitchen and bathroom faucets and shower heads. Do most of your laundry in cold water. Avoid excessive rinsing of dishes, or rinse dishes in cold water, before you put them in the dishwasher. Don’t run the dishwasher until it’s fully loaded.

Drain the Hot Water Tank

Sediments build up in your tank over time that severely restrict heat transfer between the burner and the water in the tank. If you drain a few gallons of water from the bottom of the tank once or twice a year, you will minimize this sediment deposition and save money on energy and equipment replacement costs.

To drain the tank, run a hose from the drain valve to your floor drain or to the outside of your house. Turn off the power or set the gas to “pilot” before you open the valve. Run water from the tank until the water is clear. If you are not sure that you can drain your tank safely and turn the heater back on without problems, call your plumber or HVAC professional for help.

Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes

As hot water travels through the pipes between your water heater and your kitchen or bathroom, it loses heat to the air around the pipes. You can cut these energy losses significantly by insulating the hot water pipes everywhere you can get access to them, especially where they run in unheated spaces such as a crawl space or attic. You can buy pre-cut foam insulation that’s the right size for your pipes at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.

Insulate Your Water Tank

A conventional storage-tank water heater loses a lot of energy as the hot water sits unused inside the tank, cooling off between heater firing cycles. If you have an older water heater that lacks sufficient internal insulation, adding an insulating jacket to the outside of the tank can contribute to reducing water-heating bills. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions if you insulate your water tank so you’re not compromising the system’s safety.

Storage-tank water heaters manufactured in recent years are usually insulated well enough at the factory that you do not need to add external insulation to reduce heat losses. You can get a good idea of how much heat your tank is losing by carefully feeling the top and sides of the tank between firing cycles to see if it’s warm to the touch.

The next time you are faced with replacing your water heater, ask your plumbing contractor if an on-demand (tankless) water heater would make sense for reducing water heating bills in your home. On-demand heaters heat water only when a hot-water faucet is opened, so they do not lose energy keeping a tank full of water hot 24/7. They are not suitable for all homes, though, and they cost more up-front than conventional water heaters do.

Call us at Henscey Electric, Heating & Air Conditioning for help reducing your water heating bills in your Dayton area home so you can spend more on the Holidays this year.

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