Get Better Results From Your Water Heater With These 5 Tips
As the second-largest energy expense in most Delaware homes, water heating usually makes up around 18 percent of our energy bills. With an expense that significant, it pays to take these five basic steps to keep your water heater performing at optimal efficiency.
1. Lower the thermostat. Water heating systems often come with the thermostat set to 140 degrees, but the optimal setting is 115 to 120 degrees. Lowering the temperature saves energy and prevents excess wear on components, yet still provides you with comfortably hot water.
2. Add insulation. If your storage tank feels warm to the touch, install an insulating blanket to reduce passive energy loss. On an electric heater, avoid covering the thermostat. On a gas or oil model, avoid covering the top, bottom, or burner compartment as well as the thermostat. Also, insulate the first 6 feet of the water pipes that connect to the tank.
3. Optimize faucets and showerheads. Repair leaky faucets as soon as possible. Even a slow drip can waste a lot of water over time. To save more water, install non-aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
4. Perform regular maintenance. Every three months, drain a quart of water from your storage tank to take out sediment that lowers your water heater’s efficiency, wears on the tank and encourages bacteria growth. Once or twice a year, completely flush the tank. Consult your manufacturer’s guidelines for instructions.
5. Upgrade your water heater. Your current water heating system may have a lifespan of up to 15 years, but if it’s older than seven years, it’s probably not very energy efficient. Do a little research on new, energy-efficient models and consult with an HVAC professional to see if an upgrade is right for your home. While you’re researching, consider investing in a solar water heater. With the right local climate, using solar energy could cut your water heating bills by 50 to 80 percent.
For more professional advice on boosting the energy-efficiency and lifespan of your water heater, talk with us at Sobieski Services. We provide reliable HVAC services in Wilmington and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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