Energy Saving Tips for Hot Water Heaters

There are several energy saving tips that you can use to effectively cut down on water and energy associated with your hot water heater. It's easy to waste gallons of hot water without even being aware of it. By following some simple steps, we can make a positive impact on our use of natural resources.

Conserve Water

Minimize the use of hot water for household requirements. Ensure that there are no leaks in the system, and that no water is being wasted in any manner.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Energy efficient water heaters and appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers can result in significant energy savings for a family. Though these appliances cost more initially, they will ensure greater savings in the long run.

Recover Heat from Drain Water

Hot water used for bathing and dishwashing goes directly down the drain, where the heat is wasted. A drain water heat recovery system can be used to recover the heat that would otherwise be lost. Install a drain water heat recovery system to save up to 30 percent in energy costs. Installation costs about $400 to $450, and requires professional assistance. 

Install Timers

Use a timer for all appliances and water heaters, so that water is not heated beyond what is required. A timer can result in significant energy savings.

Use Appliances and Water Heaters during Off-Peak Hours

Avoid using hot water during hours where energy rates are high. Usually, energy rates are lower on weekends and nights. Using washers, dryers, dishwashers and water heaters during off-peak hours can also save energy.

Install Low-flow Faucets and Showerheads

Low flow faucets and showerheads conserve up to 50 percent of water as compared to conventional faucets and showerheads, where gallons of hot water are wasted.

Repair Damaged Pipes Promptly

Leaking pipes and faucets result in wastage of large quantities of water. Regularly check the pipes and plumbing in your home to rule out cracks and leaks. Any problems must be promptly fixed by a professional.

Use Lower Temperature Settings

Hot water heaters are usually set at higher temperatures than are required. Lower the temperature setting for comfortable use, while at the same time conserving energy in significant amounts. Turn off the water heater if you do not plan to use it for a few days.

Insulate the Storage Tank and Pipes

Ensure that minimal heat is lost from the storage tank as well as pipes that carry hot water. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a professional if required. Insulated pipes reduce the amount of time required to heat up water, and also minimize loss of heat.

Install Heat Traps

Install heat traps on the pipes so that convection heat losses are minimized. Heat traps are low in cost, and may be available with the water heater itself.

Ensure that Your Water Heater is Functioning Well

If your water heater is old, it must be replaced before it starts losing efficiency. Replace your water heater every 7 or 8 years, taking advantage of higher efficiency ratings.