May 2010
Don't Let Your Money Go Down The Drain
Four Easy Ways to Cut Water Heating Costs

You use hot water to remove grime from your dishes, stains from your clothes and even dirt from your skin. Water for these daily tasks comes from a water heater powered by the natural gas that you pay for each month. Don't let your money go down the drain with wasteful water heating habits.

Water heating typically makes up 15 to 20 percent of your natural gas bill and it might be surprising what that percentage can mean for your family in dollars.

Here are four ways to cut water heating costs:

1) Buy a New, More Efficient Model

Products are ever changing. When it comes time to replace your current unit, we recommend investing in an energy efficient water heater. Though energy efficient models might cost more on the front end, energy savings will continue throughout the life of the unit. Make sure and look for the ENERGY STAR label on all of your household appliance purchases.

2) Use Less Hot Water

Using less water is just as important as the unit that heats it. Less heated water equals more money in the bank. Remember these water-saving tips the next time you reach for the faucet:

  • Install low flow showerheads and faucets.
  • Repair leaks immediately.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Make sure washing machines and dishwashers are full before starting a cycle.
  • Wash clothes in cold water if possible.

  • 3) Lower the Temperature Setting on Your Water Heater

    Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater. If the dial is set higher than 120 degrees, consider adjusting the temperature to save. A setting of 120 degrees provides comfortable hot water for most users.

    Lowering the temperature of your gas water heater may help you save more than you think. Turning the temperature dial down 10 degrees can reduce the cost anywhere from three to five percent. Not only will cooler water save you money; it will also increase safety in your home by eliminating a scalding hazard.

    There are several advantages to reducing the temperature setting on your water heater. In addition to saving your family money, lowering the temperature also slows mineral buildup and creates less wear and tear on the unit.

    If planning to be away from home more than three days, turn your water heater to the lowest setting. Some gas water heaters feature a vacation setting that should be utilized whenever possible. There is no need to heat water, if there is no one at home to use it.

    4) Insulate the Tank on Your Water Heater

    If tank is warm to the touch, excess heat is escaping into the surrounding air rather than remaining in the tank where it belongs. Wrapping the tank with an insulation jacket is a great energy efficient solution for this problem. The jacket, packaged with installation tape, can cost anywhere from $15-$25.

    Insulating your water heater can help keep the heat it the tank. Insulating the tank can also keep the heat out of the air around the unit, which might be in a room being cooled by a heating and air conditioning unit. When your household appliances work against each other, you pay the price. Wrap water pipes (especially first six feet connected to the unit) with insulation.

    Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
    Learn How to Insulate Your Water Tank

    DDDC - What it Means