Saving With Your Water Heater This Winter
The heating system in your home you probably worry about the most during the winter is the one that sends warm air around the rooms, either via forced air (furnace, heat pump) or radiant heat (boiler, in-floor heating).
But there’s another heater in your house that uses an immense amount of energy over the winter, and that’s the water heater. If you’re looking for ways to reduce energy costs during this winter, we recommend putting focus on your water heater.
Below is some advice we have for cutting down on hot water and the energy required to heat it.
Install low-flow plumbing fixtures
This might not seem obvious at first, but when you have low-flow showerheads, kitchen faucets, and bathroom faucets installed, it reduces the amount of hot water use in your house by a significant amount. Replacing older, more wasteful fixtures with water-efficient units that have the WaterSense label can reduce energy consumption by 30%. And you’ll save on water bills as well.
Always fix leaks promptly
Wasted water in any part of the house can mean wasted hot water. Slab leaks are a major problem, because 80% of these leaks occur in the hot water line. If you hear the water heater turning on and off when it shouldn’t, the source may be a slab leak. Call for a professional plumber to find and fix the leak.
Take shorter showers
You know this one—but it’s important to always remind people of it. Try turning off the water during times when you’re applying soap and shampoo. Even this change can make a difference.
Replace an old water heater
When a water heater is older than 15 years, it is probably starting to run inefficiently. Even if you replace it with a similar model, the improvements in design over the years means the new system will run at higher efficiency than the old one did even when it was brand new.
Replace an old water heater with a tankless water heater
Here’s a bigger step you can take with water heater replacement that makes an enormous difference. Tankless water heaters only heat water when there’s demand for it, so there’s no dip in efficiency due to standby energy loss. A tankless system is a more expensive installation, but it soon pays back its costs—and there are other advantages as well.
Lower the aquastat
The aquastat is the thermostat for a water heater. It should never be set higher than 140°F, or it may create scalding dangers. But if your water heater is currently at 140°F, we advise lowering it to 120°F. For every 10° you lower the aquastat, you lower water heating costs by 3–5%.
Insulate the hot water tank
If you are sticking with your storage tank water heater, make sure the tank has insulation to slow down standby heat loss. If the tank is stored in an unheated area of the house, this insulation will make a big difference.
We offer services for water heaters in Andover, MA and can help you improve water heater performance for this winter as well as the rest of the year. Unlike your furnace, the water heater doesn’t get a break during spring and summer!