Let’s face it; we often take for granted how much we use hot water in our every day lives. We use it for showers (and baths), dishwashing and laundry. Hot water is one of those things that we don’t really think about until we don’t have it.
But water doesn’t heat up by itself. It costs money to get your water hot. And money is something we do pay attention to. The exact amount it costs to heat your water will vary greatly. Factors include the type of hot water heater your using, its age, how much hot water you use, and even where you live (cost of energy).
Since we all like to save money, there are ways to shave a few dollars off your hot water heating bill. You’ll be surprised at how little some of these options cost compared to the savings you’ll enjoy.
Insulate the pipes
There are two main pipes that go into your heater. The first brings cold water into the heater. The second is where the hot water exits. If you insulate these pipes near the heater itself, it will help keep the water at a more constant, warmer temperature. This will make your heater run much more efficiently, thus saving money. It should be noted that you don’t have to insulate the entire pipe. The first six feet or so will be plenty.
Insulate the water heater
You can buy insulation blankets that will wrap around the heating tank. This will reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat the water because the water is held at a warmer temperature. However, if you have a newer heater, the efficiency of your heater might be greater than that of an insulation blanket. A qualified plumber can tell you if an insulation blanket is right for you.
Turn down the temperature
Most hot water heaters heat the water to a scalding 140 degrees Fahrenheit. But you can safely turn the temperature down to 120 degrees. The biggest reason why the water is so hot is to prevent bacteria and other contaminants from building up in the heating tank. By turning the temperature down, the heater won’t have to stay on as long to heat the water.
Replace your fixtures
Plumbing technology has improved to the point where there are a lot of very efficient fixtures on the market. Low flow fixtures reduce the amount of water used. This means the heater won’t be heating as much water, and you won’t be wasting as much water as you do with older fixtures.
Replace your water heater
This is the most expensive option. But it can also save you the most money. If your water heater is approaching the end of its lifespan, generally about a decade, then it’s time to be replaced. Because technology can improve drastically over ten years, you’ll be surprised how efficient the new heaters on the market are.
While you’ll always have to pay for hot water, it doesn’t have to break your bank account. Using some of the tips above can make a big difference in your utility bill.