Whether you shower or bath in the morning, evening, or any other time during the day, everybody enjoys the feeling of hot water running over them. However, in 2014 the U.S. Department of Energy found that 9%-25% of the annual hot water created by water heaters in the average household is wasted, which means that large amounts of money is washed down your drain every time you have a relaxing bath or use your dishwasher. But never fear – we at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric have composed a few handy and easy tricks to help you stop your water heater burning through your cash.
Lower Water Heater Temperature
Although many manufacturers set their water heater thermostats to 140ºF, most households only require hot water at 120ºF. i In fact, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation recommends setting your water heater below 120ºF not only to save money, but also as a safety precaution to prevent scalding in households with young children. Lowering your water heater by just 10ºF can reduce your water heating costs by 3%-5%.
Insulate Water Heaters and Pipes
If you have recently moved into a new home and noticed that your water heater is wrapped in a blanket, you’re in luck; your heater has been insulated for you. If your water heater doesn’t have its own blanket, it most probably isn’t insulated and is costing you around 4%-9% extra in water costs. The same can be said for insulating your pipes – although it may be more difficult to do than insulating your water heater, insulated pipes are able to deliver hot water that is roughly 4ºF warmer than non-insulated pipes.ii
In order to insulate your water heater, you need to work out it’s R-value and determine if it’s heated by gas or electricity. It is integral that you hire a professional to do all of this for you, because if you try to DIY insulating your heater you could end up over-covering it and cause the insulating material to catch fire.
Use Dual-Handle Faucets
Dual-handle faucets have two handles, one for cold water and one for hot water. This prevents hot water being used when only cold water is needed. When single-handed faucets are used, small amounts of hot water are drawn into the cold water stream unless the handle is pushed all the way to the cold water side, whereas dual-handle faucets only supply hot water when the hot faucet is opened. So if you have to change your faucets in the future, make sure to ask your plumber to install dual-handle fixtures, which may end up saving you around $100 a year.
Maintain Your Water Heater
One of the best ways to save cash is to prevent any future expenditure. Over time, sediment from Florida’s water supply will build up in your water heater, which effects its ability to operate properly. It also means that there is less space inside your water heater to actually heat water, so you will be using more power to heat less water. However, this is easily preventable – simply flush your water heater at least once a year to clear out all the sediment and it should start working properly once more.
Remember to follow our tips by insulating your new heater in order to lessen the amount of hot water wasted, and if you ever need any help or advice on how to stop your water heater burning through your cash, do not hesitate to contact us here at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric.
ii https://goo.gl/ShgKA5 (water pipes)
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