by Dana Eldridge
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)
There are several things that you can improve with your water heater to see benefits in energy savings.
First off, do you realize that you are heating water to a certain temperature for your shower or your washing machine only to bring that temperature down by mixing it with cold water so that it is usable? Most people can not use straight hot water and that’s where some savings can come in. Lower the hot water temperature to the lowest comfortable setting for your needs.
If you have an energy efficient hot water heater, you can save a great deal of money just not heating the water as hot as you normally would. Most hot water heaters have dials that you can use.
You can lower it just a bit or a good amount, just do not drop it below 120 F, as this is an unsafe level for bacteria and sanitation reasons. This is especially helpful if you have an electric heater.
Another thing to consider doing is to install a timer on your water heater. What is the sense of warming water over and over during the day if you are not home or do not use it during the day? Have the water heater timer kick on before you come home from work so that hot water is ready and waiting for you.
Even better is insuring that the timer keeps the heater off during the night when you know you won’t be using it. You can again set the temperature on your hot water heater to aid in getting it right.
Probably one of the largest benefits in regards to your water heater is to have it insulated. Most of the time, your water heater will already be insulated, you just need to take it to the next step. By adding insulation around the outside of your water heater, you are keeping the heat inside the water heater and therefore reducing the need for the heater to turn on and heat, using fuel to do so.
This is a large benefit to anyone that is perhaps housing their water heater in the basement or in another area of their home that is not heated.
There are two solutions here. First, you can purchase prepaid hot water heaters to easily apply to your hot water heater. These fit snuggly over it and take just minutes to install.
Another option is to consider making your own with strips of insulation cut the size of the circumference of the water heater. Use duct tape to keep it in place. Just be careful not to cover the areas where gas or piping are located otherwise the water heater will not function properly for you.
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