One expense around your home that can be easily reduced is the money that goes into operating your water heater. With a little bit of attention and care, you could be paying less for your energy bills each year by just following these money-saving tips.
Know Your Shut-Off Valve and Thermostat
Do you know where the shut-off valve and thermostat are located on your water heater? If not, now is the time to learn. In the event of an emergency, knowing immediately where to shut off your water heater could be the difference between a manageable mess and a costly catastrophe. Once you’ve located the valve, mark it for future reference and make sure everyone in your home knows where it is as well.
Next locate for the thermostat on your water heater. If it reads 120 degrees or more, it’s likely you’re wasting money. Water heaters can be run lower and still provide hot water for your home, but you’ll have to find for yourself where your temperature “sweet spot” is. Remember that every ten degrees you reduce the thermostat results in roughly a 3-5% saving on water heater costs per year.
Upgrade Water Heater and Appliances
Newer energy-saver appliances are manufactured to use less water and energy. Replacing your kitchen appliances, washer and dryer and water heater with the latest models, while being an upfront expense, will save you money in the long run. Look for deals and credits surrounding these appliances to save even more money. Specifically for water heaters, look into replacing your old system with a tankless system for significant annual savings.
Water Heater Insulation
Many water heaters aren’t insulated, but for those with an R-value lower than 24 adding a water heater insulation blanket around the tank could reduce heat loss by as much as 25%. If you have a newer system, it is likely already insulated. But it’s worth checking into in order to make sure you aren’t losing heat year-round and paying needlessly high energy costs. Check with your warranty and local utility company to get more info.
If you see puddles forming around your water heater, it’s a sign you have a leak somewhere in your system and you’re losing money in the process. A leak means that you’re losing water and components and your floor are being damaged as well. If you aren’t sure how to inspect your water heater for leaks yourself, call a professional immediately for assistance.
Flushing and Inspections
Flushing the sediments out of your water heater on a regular basis will help your system run more efficiently. Check the side of your water heater or your instruction manual for instructions on flushing and frequency. Most water heaters should be flushed at least every year. While you’re looking around your water heater, inspect it for strange smells, visible corrosion or rust and anything else that might seem out of place. Minor details affecting the efficiency of your water heater and could mean big money down the road, so have these issues checked out sooner than later.