4 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Water Heater

An average family of four showers for five minutes per day, using 700 gallons of water weekly – this usage can quickly add up and make up a significant part of their energy bill.

Factory preset temperatures for lehi water heaters may be set too high, increasing the risk of scalding. Lowering this temperature to 120 degrees could immensely affect energy costs and save considerable money overall.

To learn more about the pros and cons of tank vs tankless water heaters, you can check out this blog from the team at PlumbTech.

1. Insulate your water heater

As part of your energy efficiency preparations for winter, insulation should be one of your priorities. Insulating your water heater is among the many steps that you should take.

An insulated blanket can significantly decrease standby heat loss and save energy by keeping your water hotter for longer. You can find suitable blankets for most water heaters at most home improvement stores; an insulating jacket should cover the first six feet of pipes leading to your heater.

Insulation that is fireproof should always be used, such as fiberglass and foil insulation. Furthermore, you should avoid covering up thermostat or burner areas on an electric water heater as this poses a potential safety risk.

2. Lower your thermostat

Water heating accounts for as much as 13% of your utility bill, so any savings you can achieve could drastically lower energy costs. A few simple steps could make an enormous impactful difference!

Experts advise setting the thermostat of your water heater to 120 degrees. This provides hot water for most uses while simultaneously killing disease-causing bacteria that could grow in standing water.

To test for voltage on two upper thermostat screw terminals, press the “reset” button while power is on and check two upper thermostat screw terminals for voltage (should be 120, 208, or 240 depending on your water heater; see electrical plate to confirm). If no voltage exists, you will need to inspect for loose connections, blown fuse, or circuit breakers before continuing testing.

3. Drain your water heater

Your water heater tank was designed to last, but it does require periodic upkeep in order to remain functional and in top shape. One such procedure involves draining regularly in order to flush away naturally-occurring minerals, sand, and debris that enter from municipal sources.

As deposits build up in your water heater, its ability to provide hot water for your household becomes harder, potentially even leading to clogs and overheating. Regular draining will prolong its life expectancy and is far easier than you might imagine!

Just connect a garden hose to your water heater drain, route it outside (or to an indoor drain), open both its drain valve and pressure relief valve, and let the contents of both drain away – after this has finished draining completely, close them both off, turn off power/gas and restore them when finished.

4. Wash your laundry on cold

Many people don’t realize that washing their laundry in the cold can significantly lower their energy use. Since 90% of the energy spent heating water for washing can save money in just months if switched over to cold wash cycles.

While certain clothing items (such as gym wear or items stained by oily food stains) require either warm or hot water for washing, most can be washed in the cold with the right detergents and temperatures. When selecting detergent for your cold wash cycle, ensure it has been specifically developed to work effectively at lower temperatures – such as an HE version designed to work at lower temperatures.

Further, taking precautions such as not overloading your washer and treating stubborn stains before washing can help improve results with cold water. If they still are not as clean, try testing different temperatures until you achieve desired results.

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