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Energy Tips for the Water Heater

Heating water can account for 20 percent of the energy used in your home. You can save buckets of electricity or gas, water and money by following these tips.

Ouch, not so hot!

The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you turn your water heater down to 115°F, which provides hot enough water for most household uses. It's a common misconception that the hottest setting sterilizes the water - it doesn't. So save money and protect yourself from scalding. For every 10°F you turn it down, you can save 6 percent on your hot water cost.

Flush it out

Drain the hot water heater at least twice a year. You don't have to empty it, just let it drain until the water runs clear. This usually means draining about a gallon or so. Dissolved minerals in the water build up inside the unit, so flushing it out periodically will extend the life of your water heater and save energy too.

Wrap up the water heater

You can get an insulating, fire-retardant tank blanket at your local hardware store. This simple addition can reduce heat loss up to 45 percent. And if your heater is in an air-conditioned space, you save on that too! While you are at it, insulate bare hot water pipes, as well.

Install a water heater timer

Most working families only need hot water for a couple of hours each day. You can set the timer to turn on the heater when you normally need hot water and turn off when you don't. Doing this could easily cut hot water costs by one-third. To find a water heater timer, check your local hardware store.

Go solar!

A solar water heater is also a great way to reduce household and pool heating costs.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed Jun 5, 2013 4:33:49 PM

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