Tip 25 - Tanks A Lot
The water heater is the second-largest energy user in the average U.S. home and has a huge impact on the environment. It consumes about 20 percent of the energy used in homes and considerable resources have gone into manufacturing the estimated 100 million of them now in operation. |
- Between 15 and 30 percent of the energy your water heater uses keeps a tank of water hot constantly.
- Hot water heaters have adjustable thermostats. For every 10°F you lower the water temperature, you can save three to five percent of your water heating energy.
- The heat that escapes through the tank shell is especially important if it's in an unheated location such as a basement or porch. A water heater blanket can save from five to 10 percent of the energy it consumes. Insulated bottom boards are effective against heat loss in unheated areas.
- Tankless electric water heaters are making their appearance these days in kitchens and bathrooms. The water is not heated until the hot water tap is turned on. Tankless electric water heaters can save you money on water heating costs if used properly. However, they also add to peak utility demand.
|SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY
- Adjust the temperature setting on the heater to 120°F. If you have a dishwasher, set heater to 130°. There are two thermostats that should be set the same. Use a thermometer at the faucet. Don't rely on the heater dial because they're generally inaccurate. Turn off power to tank.Put your hand on your water heater. If it feels warm, install an insulating blanket around it, available at hardware stores. The colder its location, the greater the heat loss.
- Insulate the hot and cold water pipes leaving the tank for at least the first five feet, keeping insulation three inches from gas flues wherever they are accessible. Foam sleeves or adhesive-backed foam tape are available at hardware stores.
- Install a heat trap, a U-shaped detour in the pipe leaving your water heater, to keep hot water from circulating through the line when no one is using water. Use flexible copper tubing or purchase a screw-in heat trap nipple.
- When replacing an old tank, ensure the new one is the correct size for family and is energy efficient.
- Electric water heaters should be turned off if you leave home for more than a few nights. It takes about four hours to reheat the water when it is turned on.
- Larry Weingarten, Elemental Enterprises, P.O. Box 928, Monterey, CA 93942, 408-394-7077. Larry may be America's top authority on water heaters and he loves to talk about them. He has asked us to include his phone number, if you have a question.