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Energy Savers Series : Tip 3 Water Heaters

Posted on: March 7, 2011

Energy Savers Series : Tip 3 Water Heaters

Water heating can take a lot of energy, accounting for 14% to 25% of the total energy consumed in your home. Even taking small steps can mean significant energy and cost savings.

Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

To see if this tip will be effective, first measure the temperature of your hot water at the farthest faucet from your water heater. To ensure your family’s safety and comfort, the water temperature should be between 115 and 120 degrees F. If it is above this range, try adjusting the temperature of your water heater down. Consult your water heater documentation or manufacturer if you have any questions about adjusting the thermostat temperature on your water heater.

Put a Blanket On

Water Heater BlanketWrapping your hot water heater tank in an insulated “blanket” will reduce energy loss and make heating more efficient. Hot water heater blankets are inexpensive, and you can usually install them yourself.

Always follow the manufacturers’ safety instructions before wrapping your water heater tank. Wrap the tank thoroughly, being careful not to cover the thermostat. On gas models, avoid covering the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, and burner compartment.

Insulating the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes can also reduce the heating effort of your water heater.

Lower the Flow

Low-flow plumbing fixtures will help to improve performance and reduce waste. Low-flow shower heads can be an entirely new shower head, or a short, inline fixture that screws between the pipe and an existing shower head.

Treat your water

Reducing chlorine and other chemicals in water will reduce calcium and mineral build-up in the bottom of the water heater.  Mineral build-up reduces efficiency by up to 50% and also can cut the life of the water heater in half.   By treating the water you will also improve the efficiency of delivery and reduce damage to faucets, piping and clothes.

Wash Clothes In Cold Water

90% of the energy used in washing clothing is from heating the water. Most laundry detergent manufacturers sell detergents made to clean for cold water.

Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR Tankless Water Heater

Chicago Tankless Water Heaters When it’s time to replace your old, inefficient water heater, switching from a conventional water heater to an ENERGY STAR qualified  tank-less water heater can be a smart move, potentially cutting your water heating costs by 60% and the new tank-less water heater will last 2-3 times as long as your old heater.  Tank-less water heaters also provided unlimited amounts of hot water.

Not only will you save on water heating costs, many ENERGY STAR rated appliances qualify for state energy efficiency tax rebates saving you money on the initial cost of a new water heater.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR at: http://www.energystar.gov/

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