By Dez Duran-Lamanilao
According to the US Department of Energy, water heaters are the second biggest contributors of electricity in the home. They account for almost 17% of a home’s energy use. The estimated average cost per hour of a water heater that uses 4,000 watts is $0.40 per kWh. If you regularly consume 2 to 3 hours of energy per day, that would result to $25 to $37 per month. It is a different matter during winter, when you probably have to heat more water for your bathing, cleaning or hand-washing needs.
Aside from buying low-flow shower heads and faucets, there are simple domestic strategies that you can employ to conserve energy when heating water.
- Reduce the temperature. Setting the thermostat to a moderate level, say 120 degrees Fahrenheit, can definitely lower the energy consumption by 3 to 5% without sacrificing the heater’s function. Sinks require even lower temperature (105 degrees F) for cleaning hands.
- Use a thermal insulator on the pipes to delay heat loss and control the condensation.
- Limit the hours of operation as much as possible. You can take short showers instead of the regular baths or simply try to reduce your time showering.
- Strategically place the heater near the most frequent areas of use to minimize piping heat loss.
- Install heat traps on the water heater tank if it does not have yet.
- Use cold water when doing laundry especially during the rinse cycle.
- Ask a plumbing professional to repair leaks from fixtures, appliances and hot water piping.
- Invest in a more modern and efficient water heater. There are new models of water heating systems that provide energy savings and improved performance.
Below is a video demonstrating the proper installation of a water heater wrap:
In case it has been determined that there is a need to replace your water heater, a plumbing expert should be able to provide you informative options suitable to your household needs.