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Tips to Make Your Water Heater More Efficient

The average home creates around 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year from heating water! The amount of energy your hot water heater uses is second only to the refrigerator. It is estimated that home water heaters account for about 15-20% of total home energy usage.  As with all appliances, it is important to make sure your water heater is functioning efficiently in order to reduce your energy consumption, your carbon footprint, and your energy bill.  Follow these tips to make your water heater more efficient:

  1. Turn down the thermostat. Set your thermostat to 120® in order to have comfortable water and reduce waste. Check the temperature at several locations in the home with a meat thermometer to make sure your readings are accurate.
  2. Insulate, insulate, insulate your hot water pipes. While insulating every foot of hot water piping in your house is probably a bigger task than you are willing to undertake, simply insulating the first 6 feet of pipe will make a huge difference.
  3. Buy a furnace jacket. Why re-heat water that has already been heated?
  4. Clean your water heater tank once a year. It’s really much less painful than it sounds. Over time, sediment and deposits build up in the tank of your water heater, forcing it to work harder and harder to deliver the same performance. There are a number of videos on YouTube that give great explanations of how to do this.
  5. Install “heat traps” on the hot and cold water connections to your water heater.
  6. Use less hot water.
  • Cut down your showers by 3 minutes.
  • Switch to low-flow shower heads.
  • Fix all leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Wash your laundry in cold water – it’s just as effective and saves a ton of energy.