Water heating comprises about 20% of your total home electric bill and is typically the second largest energy expense in your home, after air conditioning. As well as not wasting water, and always using the cold faucet when you can, you can help your water heater along with some love and attention!
1) Adjust the Temperature Setting
Most water heaters remain at the default setting of 140oF, or higher. If you reduce the setting to 120oF, it helps your tank last longer (by reducing mineral build-up) and saves money. The U.S Department of Energy estimates that you can save 3-5% of the energy needed, by dropping the setting 10 degrees.
2) Add Insulation
The Department of Energy estimates that adding insulation can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs (unless your water heater’s storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation, at least R-24). If you don’t know your water heater tank’s R-value, touch it. A tank that’s warm to the touch needs additional insulation. For about $30 you can buy an insulating jacket for your electric water heater to further conserve energy or, use an old blanket, sleeping bag or duvet. You can also insulate the pipes and bottom of the tank.
3) Turn It Off
Always remember to turn off the water heater if you leave your home for two days or more. Think of it like a kettle boiling. You wouldn’t leave it on over the weekend just to have an instant cup of tea on your return.
Calculate Your Savings:
Using FPL’s 2010 customer average of 13,479 kWh per year and assuming that 20% is for water heating gives an annual price tag of $296. Reducing the temperature saves around 5% and adding insulation a further 5% so an easy 10% or nearly $30 a year.
Did You Know?
68% of water heaters fail and are then replaced in an emergency situation, leaving no time to consider energy-efficient options.