Tips for Saving Energy (and Money) With Older Water Heaters

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Older tank-style hot water heaters are not very efficient, but there are some simple things you can do to save energy, reduce pollution and save money on your utility bill.  A tank-style water heater works to keep the water in the tank hot around the clock, even when hot water is not needed.  But since the tank constantly loses heat to the surrounding air, it kicks back on to heat the water again and again in case it’s needed.

Here are some tips to increase your older tank’s efficiency:

  • Lower the tank’s temperature to 123 degrees F.  This will also prevent scalding.
  • Install a water heater timer, especially if your water heater dates back to 1998 or earlier.  They’re easy to install and relatively inexpensive ($40-160).  Programmable models are even available so you can fully customize time-frames.
  • Wrap it in a hot water tank blanket.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Insulate the room the tank is located in.
  • Opt for off-peak metering if it’s available in your area, and place such appliances as the hot water heater, dishwasher and washing machine on it.
  • Turn it off when you’re out of town. “For electric heaters without a switch, you can turn it off at the breaker box. For gas heaters, follow the instructions printed on the heater. (Usually you can just turn the thermostat, NOT the gas knob, to OFF — unless you feel you’re competent to re-light the heater when you return.)”
  • When it’s time for replacement, consider purchasing an electric or gas tankless model or solar thermal hot water system.

source:  Saving Electricity

photo courtesy of Michael Cote

Tag(s): Energy, Money Saving, Water


One Response to “Tips for Saving Energy (and Money) With Older Water Heaters”

  1. Amos on August 21st, 2009 4:05 am

    But I also think that one should get old heaters checked regularly, service them regularly…

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