Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5 Ways to Save : The Hot Water Heater

Most people are all too familiar with the TV father who steps into the shower in the morning only to find there's no hot water. It's a classic TV skit but one that, if it happens to you, could cost lots of money.

Here are 5 tips that'll help you save money, energy and water.

1) Heating too much water is a HUGE waste of energy. It's best to consult a licensed plumber to determine what size water heater you need but here are some general guidelines to help you out. If you have 1-4 occupants in your home you would need a 30-50 gallon water heater. For a family of 4-7 people you'd need a 50-80 gallon water heater on average. If you have a large family of 7+ occupants you're looking at a big water heater of 80+ gallons.

Working on the hot water heater. Photo by Christopher (aka Mr.Thomas on Flickr).

2) If your rooms requiring hot water are widely separated, it may be more efficient to install two or more smaller heaters rather than one large central water heater. This is because water flowing through the pipes loses heat causing you to draw more water from the tank to get it to the proper temperature.

3) Lowering the water heater temperature from 140°F to 120F° can reduce your energy bill by as much as 10 percent. (Keep the temperature at 140°F if you use a dishwasher without a temperature booster.)

4) Reduce sediment in the bottom of your water heaters tank by once a year draining a bucket of water from the tank. Sediment in the bottom of your water heaters tank can waste energy by "blocking" the water in the tank from the heating element.

5) Take showers instead of baths. Filling the bath tub requires far more heated water than that put out by an energy efficient showerhead. Pick one up at your local home remodeling store or visit www.oxygenics.com for a great selection of energy efficient showerheads.

Photo by Christopher (aka Mr.Thomas on Flickr).

1 comment:

Kristen said...

So I went to lower my water heater temperature and noticed that it does not have temperatures on it. It only has settings of low, medium low, medium, medium high and high. So do I just have to test it until I find the right level? What do I do now?