Based on estimates from the Energy Information Administration, the average Hoosier household spends about 17% of its total energy consumption on heating water. Unlike space heating, we rely on our water heaters year-round. Luckily for the Hoosier, who wants to save some money and lower their energy consumption, your water heater's efficiency can be improved by implementing some of the following tips.
#1: Check for a Hot Water Leak
You may have a hot water leak if you notice the following:
A spike in your water bill.
Puddles near the base of your unit.
Cracks in your concrete slabs.
These are just a few of the signs that you may have a water leak. If you notice any of these signs, turn off all the water-using appliances in your house. Go to your water meter. It's most likely near the curb in front of your home. Check the meter to see if the water is flowing to your property.
If your water meter is analog, look for a triangle-shaped gauge on the meter. If the triangle is rotating, then water is flowing to your house. Any water flow at all indicates a leak since you've shut off all of your water-using appliances and fixtures.
If your water meter is digital, you may need to shine a flashlight on the meter to get it to display. You will see flashing numbers. If you see a 0 repeatedly flashing, then there is most likely not a leak.
If you detect the presence of a leak through your water meter or are unsure if you have a leak, Indiana Leak Detection can help.
#2: Lower Your Water Heater's Thermostat
It may sound simple, but lowering your thermostat is the easiest way to save money on your water heating expenses. The default temperature setting of your heater is likely 140 degrees.
You can lower this to 120 safely. The lower temperature may make your showers and baths more comfortable, especially if you have family members that are small children or elderly, who can get scalded more easily.
The reason the default temperature is so high is to kill off harmful bacteria. It's not safe to lower your thermostat below 120 degrees because bacteria can thrive in temperatures that low. If members of your household have compromised immune systems, it may be best to keep your thermostat at the default to ensure no harmful bacteria get through.
The hot water in your tank slowly cools down over time. All of that heat loss wastes energy! Insulation can keep heat from escaping.
One of the most popular forms of insulation is a water heater blanket. The cover goes over your entire tank and prevents heat from leaking out.
Additionally, in the winter months, you can insulate your pipes to prevent heat loss. This will also prevent your pipes from freezing, which is an added bonus!
#4: Be Aware of Your Hot Water Usage
Some homeowners may not realize how much their appliances use hot water. Dishwashers and washing machines can use a lot of hot water, so it's essential to use them efficiently. Only use your dishwasher and washing machine for a full load as much as possible.
#5: Watch for Signs You Need Maintenance
The most significant expense your water heater will cause you is a replacement. Maintenance is the best way to delay that expense as long as possible. If you notice any of the following signs, it's probably time to get your system checked:
Inconsistent Hot Water
Low Water Pressure
Strange Noises Coming From the Unit
Metallic Tasting or Rust-colored Water
Live worry-free with professional leak identification and repair services from Indiana Leak Detection. Contact (317) 449-2780 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your repair today.