Your hot water heater is one of the largest energy consumers in your home. From showers to handwashing to dishes, hot water is in high demand in most homes. If you're looking for ways to reduce the energy costs associated with your hot water heater, there are a few things that you can do. Here are four steps to take now to help minimize those costs:
Reduce Your Water Consumption
Reducing your water consumption doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of water. There are ways that you can do this without even really noticing the difference. When you're brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, don't let the water continue to run. You would be surprised how much water you waste when you let it run, and if you're using hot water, that's also added demand on your hot water heater.
Another way to reduce your water consumption is to replace your water fixtures with low-flow units. Low-flow water fixtures reduce the amount of water that actually comes through the fixture itself, but they pressurize it and incorporate air so that you don't notice the reduction. It saves you on hot water use, reducing how often your water tank has to refill.
Give Your Pipes Some Protection
If you add some insulation to your hot water lines in the house, it helps to preserve the temperature of the water. When you minimize the heat loss, you'll reduce how much additional heating the hot water tank has to do. Insulated pipes can hold hot water temperature for much longer than uninsulated lines, especially in areas like the basement where there may not be much protection for the pipes otherwise.
Reduce The Temperature
If you lower the temperature on your hot water heater, it reduces how much the tank has to work in general. By lowering it as little as ten degrees, you can save a percentage of your monthly energy costs.
You'll save even more by turning it down again if you go on vacation. Otherwise, your hot water heater is working to maintain the temperature of the water even when you're not there, which is a waste of energy and resources. Drop the temperature another ten to fifteen degrees before you leave and then turn it back up when you get home.
Address The Tank Itself
Finally, you should look at the options available to you for your hot water tank itself. If the tank is older, talk with your plumber about the potential for replacing it with a new, more efficient model. That simple upgrade can pay for itself over the years. For even more savings, you should cover the tank in an insulated blanket to help retain the heat in the water.
Contact a plumbing company for more information and assistance.