4 Ways To Make Your Water Heater Be More Efficient
There are several easy and inexpensive things you can do to increase a water heater's operating efficiency and longevity. Most of these things only have to be done once but will benefit you throughout the life of your water heater, cutting down your water heater’s operating costs.
1. ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE
Did you know that for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature on your water heater, you can expect to save up to 5% in energy costs? This is a great way to easily save money and resources. Find the temperature dial on the side of the tank and unscrew its cover. Adjust the dial to 120 degrees using a flathead screwdriver. If you plan to be away from home for more than three days, turn the water heater off or the thermostat down to its lowest setting so you aren’t unnecessarily heating water and wasting money while you’re gone.
2. INSULATE THE WATER HEATER TANK
Adding insulation reduces heat loss by up to 45 percent and can shave as much as 9% off water-heating costs. Cut the insulating blanket to fit around pipes, the T&P valve, the temperature control, and anything else sticking out from the side of the tank. Wrap the tank and seal any cuts with foil tape. Do not cover the tops of oil or gas heaters. Cap an electric heater with an oversize circle of insulation, and tape its edge securely to the side of the tank. If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve insulated your tank properly, consult a licensed plumber to help you.
3. INSULATE PIPES
Insulating the cold-water pipe prevents condensation in summer and insulating the hot-water pipe helps keep the water hot when it leaves the water heater. Buy some self-sticking 3/8-inch-thick foam pipe insulation that matches the pipe’s diameter. Slide the foam over the hot- and cold-water pipes as far as you can reach. Peel the tape and squeeze the insulation closed. If the pipe is 6 inches or less from the flue, cover it with 1-inch-thick unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap.
4. ANNUAL WATER HEATER FLUSH
As water runs through your water heater, it leaves behind minerals that can build up in the tank, reducing your water heater energy efficiency. It creates a layer of sediment that makes heating the water in your tank difficult. This sediment can also clog your water lines if it isn’t cleared. You can avoid these problems and increase the life of your water heater by periodically flushing the tank and it’s recommended that be done annually.
The older a water heater gets the more inefficient it becomes but if you take these steps, you can try and get as much efficiency out of it as possible. The good news is, when you get to the point, new water heaters are manufactured to be more efficient. If you need help with any of the items above, we would be happy to help.
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Sep 1st 2020