Lowering Bills with a Lower Water Heater Temperature
Running a hot water heater accounts for up to 25 percent of the average household’s yearly energy consumption, and lowering the thermostat setting by 20 degrees can reduce its energy use by up to 10 percent.
Why the Water Heater Uses So Much Energy
Although tankless units are gaining popularity, storage tank water heaters are still the most common type found in today’s homes. If that’s the type that you have, every time hot water is drawn out for use somewhere in your home, fresh water that’s at about 50 degrees is pulled into the tank to replace it. The cooler water dilutes the hot water that remains inside, and the entire tank must be heated again to meet the thermostat setting.
Another factor that impacts your water heater’s energy consumption is standby heat loss, which is the heat energy that escapes through the bottom, top and sides of the tank. Even when no hot water is used at all, the water heater still cycles on and off and consumes energy to maintain the thermostat temperature.
How to Turn Back the Water Heater Temperature
For an electric unit, start by shutting off its breaker in the electrical panel. Then, find the removable panel located near the tank bottom. If there are two panels, you’ll need to adjust two thermostats. Simply remove the panel(s) and move the thermostat toward “low” until it’s set at 120 degrees. If you have a gas water heater, just turn back the thermostat dial that’s located right on the gas valve. Keep in mind that it can take several hours for the temperature to drop down to the new setting, so don’t expect to notice a difference right away.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.