4 Easy Ways to Improve Water Heater Efficiency

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Phil Puccio

Improve the efficiency of your water heater

Did you know that nearly 20% of your home’s energy bill comes from simply heating your water? Heating water requires more power consumption than almost any other household chore (except heating and cooling your entire home). With a cost this high, you’ll feel it even more if your water heater’s efficiency is less than excellent.

Inefficient water heaters don’t work as well as they should, costing you more money every month. It’s a lose-lose situation that can get worse over time. Luckily, there are a few proven ways to improve the efficiency of your water heater. Here are five simple projects that will make your water heater work better and save you money!

Step 1: Drain water heater sediment

Over time, Minerals such as magnesium and calcium build up in the tank of your water heater. These minerals eventually settle to the bottom of the tank and harden, forming sediment. If sediment settles in your tank, it can force the system to work unnecessarily harder to heat your water. Eventually, this extra work forces a pressure buildup in the tank, leading to overheating and overheating even fractures. You can easily Drain water heater sediment by draining your tank completely and rinsing it with cold water at least once a year (up to 3 times if the water is hard) for optimal efficiency.

Removing sediment will help keep your heater running much more efficiently and prevent more costly repairs that can occur due to their accumulation. Flushing your water heater is a relatively easy project that you can do yourself if you have the right tools. You can also hire a professional to do this as part of a larger project Water heater maintenance call.

insulation of your pipes

Step 2: Insulate water lines

Heat tends to dissipate quickly, especially in your pipes and water tank. While this is natural, it also prevents your water heater from heating as efficiently as possible. If you lose heat in your pipes, you have to heat more water to make up the loss. The more water you heat, the longer and harder your water heater will run, and the more electricity it will use. That means you spend more money on your electricity bill. Insulating water pipes helps prevent heat loss and increases efficiency.

Insulating your pipes keeps the heat locked in the system where it belongs. Insulated water pipes keep heat longer and can increase the water temperature by 2-4℉ even alone. Insulating your cold water lines can also help!

Insulating your pipes and water heater is a relatively easy task once you do it do a little research. Just choose an insulation material, measure your pipes and get started with some tools you already have at home like scissors, tape measure, tape and gloves!

A person presses the low flow flush option on a toilet.

Step 3: Use low-flow devices

Low flow sanitary fittings are another easy way to save money in the long run without spending too much time or effort upfront. Low-flow faucets do what their name suggests, they reduce the water flow rate (gallons per minute) so less of your precious hot water goes down the drain unnecessarily.

Consider replacing items like showerheads, faucets, and even toilets with low-flow alternatives for the ultimate energy savings by reducing water use by up to 50 percent. They cost a bit more money up front, but are worth the savings in the long run, especially if you have someone in your household who is notorious for taking long, hot showers!

A temperature gauge reads 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Many homeowners are unaware, but every water heater has a built-in thermostat. This thermostat tells the system how much it takes to heat the water in the tank. The hotter your system heats your water, the longer it runs and the higher the overall temperature power consumption. If your hot water is getting hot very quickly, or seems dangerously hot, you should check your water heater’s thermostat setting. Turning down the water thermostat will help keep your water safe while lowering your bills.

Most manufacturers set water heaters at 140 degrees by default. In reality, water temperatures are above 120 degrees are not safe to wash or bathe anyway. Although experts will agree that everything below 120 degrees poses a risk of bacterial growth in the settled tank water, so make sure you don’t set your water heater temperature lower than this. You can use this guide for steps on how to manually lower the temperature of your home water heater Save 3-5% on your water bill annually!

Person fixes a leaking water heater.

Step 5: Fix pipe leaks

Pipe leaks are more common than you think. They also have a bigger impact on your home than you might think. Even tiny faucets lick waste 1,661 gallons of water (and $35 on your water bill) per year. All that wasted water affects your water heater too. The more hot water coming out of your pipes, the more your water heater has to produce. That means it runs longer and, of course, consumes more energy. The most common indicator of a pipe leak is your water heater running constantly as it needs to replace lost hot water. So how can you spot leaks before they empty your water tank and wallet?

Leaks that commonly affect your water heater Start with the heater itself. First, check your water heater tank for any visible leaks. The temperature relief valve and the drain valve are particularly likely. The temperature pressure relief valve may leak to relieve pressure (as intended) or simply because it is defective. You should also check the plumbing itself, especially near fixtures like sinks and showers. Remember: no leak is “too small” to be left unfixed. If you need help Fixing or detecting possible leaks in pipelinescontact your local plumber.

Perform regular water heater maintenance

It’s easy to forget about your water heater, especially when there’s (seemingly) nothing wrong with it. Even if you don’t have any noticeable leaks or concerns, we recommend making sure your heater is as efficient and well-maintained as possible. You are now saving money on your water bill while helping extend the life of your water heater as a whole.

If you need help to ensure your water heater is working as well as it should, or if you are looking to replace or repair your water heater, Schedule a service with Mike Diamond’s installation experts today! We are always happy to do whatever it takes to make your home comfortable and save you money in the long run.

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Category – Plumbing

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