How Energy Efficient Is Your Water Heater?

Even though our water heaters cost us hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars every year, there’s no way we could live without them. They not only provide us with hot showers, but they keep our pipes from freezing throughout the year and help ensure the water we use is sanitary. If you’re ready to save somewhere between and 5-10% on your annual water heating bill, follow these easy tips that you can do yourself.

How Energy Efficient Is Your Water Heater?

Check All Faucets

Many people who have leaking water faucets and don’t have to pay a water bill believe they have no financial incentive to fix the problem. However, that leaking water is heated by your water heater, which takes a toll on your heating or energy bill. You can fix most leaking faucets on your own, which typically involves replacing the rubber washer on the valve unit.

Shower Head

Most shower heads made before 1992 provide 6-10 gallons of water every minute, while at the same time not providing adequate amounts of pressure. Modern shower heads get down to 2.5 gallons per minute while providing ample amounts of water pressure. This saves a great deal of hot water and cuts back on your water heating bill. These can easily be installed yourself, and you can find a wide selection of energy friendly shower heads at a hardware store.

Water Heater Blanket

Water heaters get extremely hot, and they are designed to stay hot indefinitely. However, some heat escapes through the water heater’s walls, especially for older models. You can easily tell how much heat is being lost from your water just by touching it and feeling how much heat is radiating from it. You can help keep your water heater more insulated by purchasing a water heater blanket or jacket to wrap around it.

When putting on the blanket, it is important to make sure that the safety valve and the drain pipe coming from the safety valve are not covered by the water heater.

Insulating Pipes

If you’re going to insulate the water heater itself, it makes sense to also insulate the water pipes surrounding it that carry hot water to the rest of your house. If your water pipes are using outdated insulation, or if they aren’t insulated at all, you can buy pipe insulation at a hardware store for a few bucks. Make sure that the insulation you buy fits around the entire pipe snugly, and can be easily attached using zip ties or tape to secure it in place.

Upgrading Your Water Heater

If you feel that you do everything you can to cut back on your water heating bill, but you’re not getting the results you should be getting, there may be a problem with your water heater that is out of your hands. You should look into companies that provide yearly maintenance programs that will take a look at your current water heater and make any adjustments necessary to help save you money.

They can also diagnose your current water heater, give you a timetable of when you should invest in a new water heating system, and approximately how much a new water heater will cost you.

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provides plumbing, heating and cooling and home improvement tips for money and energy savings. Mike works works with Blakeslee & Son, Inc in Grand Rapids and Rockford, MI, and you can visit their water heater page to learn more about water heater installation.