water heating

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. Water heating typically accounts for about 13% of your utility bill.

The most common ways to cut your water heating bills:

  • use less hot water
  • turn down the thermostat on your water heater
  • insulate your water heater
  • buy a new, more efficient water heater

Water heating tips

  • Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads
  • Repair leaky faucets promptly
    • A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater
    • Water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 120°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses
  • Take more showers than baths
    • Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household
  • Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat
  • Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment
  • Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater
  • If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR model to reduce hot water use
  • Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss.
    • Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps
  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater
    • The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice
  • Buy a new energy-efficient water heater
    • While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance
  • Consider installing a drain water waste heat recovery system
    • A recent Department of Energy study showed energy savings of 25% to about 30% for water heating using such a system
  • Consider natural-gas on-demand or tankless water heaters
    • Researchers have found savings can be up to 30% compared with a standard natural-gas storage tank water heater