Some homeowners may never give their hot water heaters a second thought as long as they are working properly. The water heater is usually tucked somewhere out of sight in the garage or basement, a location which may make the water heaters easier to ignore.
However, you should not exclude the water heater when you’re looking for ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
Adjust the Temperature on the Thermostat
Many water heaters are set to heat your water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit by default. However, homes rarely require water to be heated any higher than 120 degrees. Lowering your hot water heater temperature on the unit’s thermostat can significantly reduce the rate of lime and scale formation in the water heater tank.
You can lower your water heater’s temperature by turning off power to the unit and locating the thermostat. Electric heaters usually have thermostats located on screw-on plates, and gas water heaters have their thermostats at the bottom of the tank.
Insulate Part of Your Hot Water Piping System
Water heater insulation is an easy project that can help reduce heating losses by 25 to 45 percent without requiring the help of a professional. The costs you incur are related to precut insulation materials that can be found at many hardware stores.
Consider also how insulating part of your hot water piping system can make your water heater even more energy efficient. Insulating pipes can help increase water temperature by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you can lower your water heater temperature since your pipes will have a better heat retention capacity.
Keep Up With Water Heater Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep your hot water supply clean, consistent, and energy efficient is through regular maintenance. Routine maintenance also helps to identify issues that affect water heaters, such as sediment buildup, and increase overall performance.
Maintenance usually includes flushing water from the storage tank, checking the pressure valve and temperature, and inspecting parts that may require replacement. In addition to performing these maintenance tasks for you, a plumbing services professional can assist you when you have problems with little or no hot water, smelly water, or leaking water tanks. Water heater problems should not be ignored, no matter how small they seem.
Ensure You Install the Right Replacement Water Heater
Higher-end water heater models tend to cost more than standard models, but the savings they bring you over time can eventually pay off this initial cost. Be on the lookout for new water heaters with the Energy Star label and choose the right type based on your own home requirements.
Some of the requirements you need to factor in include the size of your home as well as fuel type. For example, indirect and tankless coil water heaters make use of your home’s current heating system, while solar water heaters require the sun to heat your water. It is critical that you look at the different water heater types on the market so that you can choose an energy-efficient one.
If your water heater is eight to 12 years old, consider upgrading to a higher efficiency model. If you’re not ready to upgrade, follow the tips above to ensure you get greater operating efficiency from your unit.