Lowering the Energy Cost of Your Water Heater

Broken or damaged plumbing fixtures in your home can slowly increase your utility bills through undiscovered leaks. But when it comes to your utility bills, none of your home’s plumbing fixtures can cost you as much money as an inefficient water heater does. The Department of Energy says that water heating accounts for up to 25% of your total energy cost. That’s more than $300 per year!

So what can you do to make your water heater more efficient and save money on your energy bills? A lot!

An inexpensive fiberglass insulating blanket wrapped around your water heater can cut heat costs up to 40%, especially if your unit is located in an unheated or underheated space like an unfinished basement.

If you waste less hot water, you heat less water. Installing low-flow fixtures like shower heads and aerators will use less hot water. Also, use the economy setting on your dishwasher, and avoid "pre-washing” dishes. That’s why you bought a dishwasher in the first place!

Don’t leave your unit on the factory temperature setting; it’s usually higher than you need and you’ll save up to 5% on your energy bill for every 10 degrees you turn it down. Don’t lower it below 120, because lower than that can allow bacteria to grow in the tank. Yuck!

We covered this in our recent post on Water Heater Maintenance, but be sure to drain the unit annually and get rid of sediment that can reduce energy efficiency.

Lastly, don’t forget your pipes! Wrapping the pipes leading out of your water heater can help preserve the heat as the water travels to your fixtures. Less heat loss means less energy cost.

An inefficient water heater can cost you big money from increased energy bills. If you need help with your water heater, or installing low-flow fixtures to get even more efficiency, call Dauenhauer any hour. We’ll send out one of our friendly plumbing techs to lend a hand.