Saving Money On Water Heaters

Having hot water is a must for any modern home, especially in the winter.

Unfortunately, heating your water and keeping it warm can be incredibly expensive, especially if you live in a big household.

Since going without hot water isn’t really an option, here are some things you can do to keep your utility bills at an affordable level this winter.

Use Less Hot Water

Although not using hot water at all is not an option during the winter, you can save some money by using less hot water.

For example, most of your clothes can be washed with cold water, a practice that can save someone $67 a year with a gas water heater and $161 a year with an electric heater.

Other practices that will use less hot water (and less water in general) are taking showers instead of baths, installing a low-flow showerhead, and washing your hands with cold water.

Buy an Energy Efficient Water Heater

Many people think they are saving money when they buy a cheap water heater, but the truth is that the cheaper models can cost more money to run.

Spend the extra money and buy an energy efficient water heater instead. It should pay for itself in six or seven years thanks to the amount of money it will save you in that time.

If your home already has gas service, you should go with a gas-powered water heater since they are cheaper to use than electric water heaters, but you shouldn’t install new gas lines just to use a gas heater. Having gas lines installed can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and once they are installed you will pay roughly $12 a month for service. Gas water heaters are certainly more energy efficient, but only if you already have gas service.

Lower the Temperature of the Water Heater Tank

Turning down the thermostat is a common suggestion for reducing a home’s energy bill, so it stands to reason that lowering the temperature of a water heater tank will have the same effect.

While this won’t save you a lot of money on your heating and water bills, it will lower them slightly and be of some help if you are trying to watch your budget this winter.

Lowering the temperature of your tank from 140 degrees to 110 degrees will save you about $3 a month. Most people won’t see that as significant savings, but it does add up over time.

The only problem with lowering the temperature of your tank is that you may end up using more water than you planned. If you want to lower your tank’s temperature to save money, you should consider combining that method with some other money-saving strategies to get the most out of it.

Fix Leaks as Quickly as Possible

Leaks can cost a home a lot of hot water.

Leaking pipes should never be ignored, and it is especially important to get them fixed as soon as you discover them in the winter.

Your home will most likely be using more hot water when it gets colder, so any leaks you may have will be a waste of both water and energy. Call a plumber and get leaks fixed as quickly as possible.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons (www.homejobsbymom.com) via Flickr

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