The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that water heating makes up around 16 percent of your household’s annual energy costs. You can reduce water heating costs by making some changes. Here are three smart ways to reduce your expenses for household hot water.
- Reduce Your Consumption of Water
One of the best ways to lower hot water costs is to reduce your household’s hot water usage. Replace older plumbing fixtures with new, water-efficient fixtures.
Plumbing fixtures and appliances that are available in water-wise models include:
- Bathroom sink and tub faucets
- Kitchen faucets
- Washing machines
Another water-saving trick is to replace faucet aerators with low-flow aerators. Your plumbing service can replace aerators for you if you aren’t sure how to change them. Repair any leaks in your plumbing fixtures and appliances that use hot water, or call a plumbing service to find and repair leaks in hot-water lines and fixtures.
Encourage your family to use less hot water. Use a timer in the bathroom to limit showering to 10 minutes or less. Offer a reward to family members who reduce their showering times. Use cold water for clothes washing, and rinse dishes with cold water only before placing the dishes in the dishwasher.
- Insulate Your Water Heater and Hot-Water Pipes
Less heat escapes from your hot water heater and pipes when these plumbing components are insulated. Various water-heater blankets are available to wrap around your water heater.
Ensure that you get the right size and type of insulating cover for your water heater, and install it correctly. If your water heater is a gas-fired water heater, make sure you don’t inadvertently cover the air inlet. Your plumbing service can source and install water-heater insulation for you if you can’t find the right water-heater cover for your model.
Insulate all accessible plumbing lines that deliver hot water. You won’t waste water waiting for the taps to deliver hot water, and less heat will escape from the hot-water pipes.
Talk with your plumbing service about installing heat traps or anti-convection valves. These two devices solve the problem of heat being siphoned from the water heater.
- Purchase an Energy-Efficient Water Heater
If your water heater is approaching 10 to 15 years of use, the appliance is at the end of its life span. Install a new water heater before your existing water heater fails. You save money on emergency plumbing repairs and future water-heating costs by replacing an old, inefficient water heater before it breaks down.
New water heaters are available in highly efficient versions of both conventional and on-demand appliances. Conventional water heaters have storage tanks that heat and hold hot water. On-demand water heaters — also called tankless water heaters — only heat water as needed, so no energy is wasted keeping a tank full of heated water hot.
Smaller tank-style water heaters are generally more efficient than larger tank-style water heaters. Larger storage tanks have more surface area for heat loss. However, if you have a large family, a small tank-style water heater is not practical. Insulating the water heater makes more sense than settling for a too-small water heater.
On-demand water heaters have limitations, too. A household gas-fired tankless heater can deliver only around 5 gallons of hot water per minute.
The amount of water supplied by an on-demand water heater often won’t allow for multiple fixture uses. For example, your household can’t run the dishwasher, wash clothes in hot water, run a bath, and take a shower all at the same time with most on-demand household water heaters.
Replace your aging water heater in Northern Utah with a new ENERGY STAR certified water heater by contacting Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling LLC today. We repair, install, and service water heaters for homeowners in and around the Centerville, Ogden, Park City, and Salt Lake City regions.
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