When you break down your monthly energy bill, you’ll likely find that your water heater is one of the largest consumers of energy, whether that’s gas or electricity. Even if your current system is not the newest, most efficient system on the market, there are plenty of ways to reduce energy waste.
Water Heater Temperature Setting
Many water heaters come from the manufacturer with higher temperature settings than necessary and slightly lowering the settings on your system’s thermostat can save up to 10% on your monthly bill. The Department of Energy recommends that your water heater be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to kill any bacteria that might be in the water or tank. With the exception of washing dishes, this is generally plenty hot enough for all other household tasks such as showering and laundry. Most dishwashers will heat up the water to a necessary temperature anyway, but double check the settings of your particular system just to be sure. Changing the temperature of your water heater is as simple as adjusting the thermostat, which is located on your tank. The type and manufacturer of your system determines where the thermostat is located, so consult your owner’s manual to find it. We understand there’s a good chance you have no clue where your owner’s manual is, fortunately, most manufacturers now have online manuals that can be found on their website. If not, you can always call your local hardware store and they can probably assist you.
Water Heater Vacation Mode
You can also save some money by adjusting your system’s temperature when you go out of town. We always remember to turn off the lights before we go on vacation, but the water heater is using even more energy, sucking dollars right out of your pocket. You could lower the temperature significantly, but it’s usually easier to just turn the system off. If you have a gas water heater, set it to Pilot and if your system is electric you can turn off the breaker on your electrical panel. Many newer models of water heaters actually have a vacation mode to set that will automatically turn the water to the correct temperature. Then when you return you can just hit a button to get your water heater back to the normal temperature.
It may be conveniently hidden in your garage, but when it comes to saving energy never forget about your water heater.