Think about all of the hot water you use every day.
For showers and baths. For dishes. For laundry. In most homes the hot water heater is used frequently and draws a high percentage of total energy use, so choosing the right water heater for your home can mean energy bill savings for years to come.
The Right Water Heater for You
The efficiency of your water heating will be determined primarily by what type of water heater you choose and its capacity. The most common kind is the storage water heater which can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, oil or propane. These heaters maintain a reserve of hot water that is ready when you are. Choosing the right size for your needs will increase your energy efficiency. Natural gas users may choose to go with an instantaneous water heater which heats water as you need it, thereby reducing standby energy loss.
For Best Results
If your water heater is was installed before 2004, you may be able to boost its efficiency by adding an insulation jacket. This will reduce the amount of heat lost through the walls of the tank and reduce the amount of energy you need to heat the water. Most newer models come with hefty insulation, so always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding insulation jackets. You can also boost your energy efficiency by adding extra insulation to your hot water pipes, which will reduce the amount of heat lost on the way to your faucet.
For additional energy savings, lower the temperature to the lowest setting that provides you with sufficient hot water. For many households, 120 degrees is a reasonable setting.
In addition to saving energy you will also reduce the risk of scalding, a factor especially important in homes with small children