Tankless hot water heater installed in a basement utility room

7 Things to Do to Save Money With Your Water Heater

A water heater is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home, accounting for roughly 18% of your utility bills. You may want to find ways to save money on energy or maybe just be more eco-friendly. Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, there are things you can do to lower your energy costs.

1. Turn Down Your Thermostat

Turning your water heater thermostat down can lower your energy bill and reduce stress on your system. The factory preset is usually between 130 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The appropriate temperature for human skin is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Making this adjustment saves you about 3% to 5% on your water heating costs.

2. Install a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters only heat water when using it rather than storing hot water in a tank. Upgrading from a traditional to a tankless water heater can save you up to 40% on the device’s energy usage. Instead of running 24/7 to keep a reservoir hot, a tankless system turns on and off when the tap is running water.

3. Use the Right-Sized Water Heater

The size of your water heater contributes to how much energy it uses to heat your water. You may think a smaller water heater uses less energy, but an undersized tank may work harder. A small tank runs the burner constantly to heat water and uses more energy than a properly sized water heater.

4. Flush Your Water Heater

Sediment builds up on the walls of your water tank over time, which impedes its ability to heat. Periodically flushing your water heater and performing inspections can catch sediment buildup before it overwhelms your system. Our plumbers know how to flush and inspect your system.

5. Upgrade Outdated Appliances

If you have older appliances in your kitchen or laundry room, they cost you more energy to run than they should. Some states even offer tax rebates for switching to more eco-friendly appliances. New washers and dishwashers consume less water and energy with every cycle.

6. Upgrade Your Water Heater

Upgrade your water heater when you notice signs of it failing. Your water heater might last up to 10 years, but it won’t necessarily show signs of age. The technology of water heaters changes, but tanks past their prime can begin struggling to keep up with your water usage.

7. Insulate Your Tank and Pipes

An older water heater may need an insulation R-value of 24 to reduce heat loss. Newer tanks usually have an R-value of at least 24, which prevents heat loss by about 25%. Our plumbers can add insulation to the pipes and tank of your older system.

Upgrading your appliances and hot water system is one way to reduce your energy usage every month. You can also change your habits and do some things to lower your energy bills yourself. If you are in or near Redding, CA and looking for ways to save money on your water heater or you think you might need water heater repair or replacement, call us at Beaton today for an inspection.