10 Ways to Lower Your Water Heating Bills
Your water heater works hard to keep your showers hot during the arctic blasts that New Jersey experiences each winter. This, in turn, increases your water heating bills. Keep costs down without sacrificing home comforts with these tips.
- Turn down the water heater temperature: The standard setting is 140 degrees, but you can lower it to 120 degrees without risking microbial growth in the tank. This 20-degree difference reduces energy usage by 6 to 10 percent and minimizes the chance of scalding at the tap.
- Insulate the water heater: Touch the side of the water heater tank. If it feels warm, it’s experiencing wasteful standby heat loss. Reduce this energy waste by installing an insulation blanket. You may need a professional’s help to ensure you complete the task correctly.
- Insulate the pipes: The longer the water stays hot as it exits your water heater, the sooner it heats up at the tap. Insulate the first three feet of pipe exiting the water heater to help with this. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and easy to install, and you’ll enjoy immediate savings on your water heating bills.
- Install low-flow fixtures: If your showerheads and faucets were installed before 1992, consider replacing them with low-flow versions to cut your water usage in half. Modern kitchen and bathroom fixtures use less water, but they don’t lose pressure in the process. Instead, they separate the water into many tiny streams, aerating it and reducing the flow rate without sacrificing water pressure.
- Maintain your water heater: Drain a quart of water from the tank every three to six months to draw out sediment that settles on the bottom. This improves heat transfer efficiency and lengthens the lifespan of your water heater.
- Only run the dishwasher when it’s full: Turning on the dishwasher when it’s still half-empty is a waste of hot water, so top it off before starting a cycle.
- Wash clothes in cold water: Special detergent is available to help clean clothes effectively, even in cold water. Reserve warm and hot water batches for loads of bedding and towels.
- Conserve hot water every day: Take shorter showers, don’t let the water run, and fix leaks as soon as possible. Small conservation efforts like this add up over time.
- Install energy-efficient appliances: When the time comes to replace the dishwasher and washing machine, opt for models that qualify for the Energy Star label. The extra upfront investment needed to buy a more efficient appliance will pay you back in hot water savings.
- Consider a tankless water heater: When it comes to energy efficiency, tankless water heaters beat traditional storage tanks hands down. They produce hot water on demand instead of keeping it hot 24/7, eliminating standby heat loss and reducing your water heating bills by 30 to 70 percent.
For more tips to lower your water heating bills, or to request help implementing these ideas, please call Bob Hoegler Plumbing in Monroe Township at 732-521-0133.