If you’re so used to taking hot showers and baths, you may be surprised to know that cold showers actually have some health benefits.
For instance, cold showers are better for our hair and skin as hot showers can exacerbate dryness. Cold showers can also help reduce fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome according to this study.
But even if cold showers have miraculous healing powers, we understand that some people just can’t abide them. If you’re one of them – a certified non-polar bear type, then you know that having the best water heater is a must.
Of course, you also know that water heaters (whether gas or electric) can be a considerable household expense.
That said, let’s take a look at the 10 ways you can reduce your water heater energy consumption.
1. Use a water heater blanket
This applies to older water heaters. The thing with water storage tanks is they still store hot water even if you’re not using them.
What this means is you’re losing heat through the tank’s walls if they are not well insulated.
Luckily, an easy fix is just to use a water heater blanket or jacket with special insulation. You should be good with a blanket with a rating of R-5 to R-10.
If this is your first time installing a water heater blanket, you should check out this guide by the Department of Energy (DOE).
2. Use less hot water
This may be easier said than done but it is doable.
If your usual shower routine takes 15 minutes, challenge yourself and trim it to 10 or even 5.
You should also look into installing low-flow showerheads. The DEA recommends a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm.
3. Set your tank’s thermostat to 120 degrees
If you haven’t gotten around to buying the best water heater and are still using a typical water storage tank, make sure you turn down its thermostat to 120 degrees.
Older models usually have thermostats that are preset at 140 degrees. This is hot enough to scald, which means you can also avoid that risk if you turn down your tank’s thermostat.
4. Drain that tank
Again, this applies to older water heaters, which have a tendency to accumulate sediment.
Now the problem with sediment buildup is it makes your water heater less efficient. Those cracking and popping noises you keep hearing aren’t paranormal in nature, it’s just sediment interfering with your water heater’s normal functions.
To keep your water heater running longer, you should drain the tank yearly. You can DIY it or have experts to do it for you.
5. Insulate exposed pipes
It goes without saying that the best water heater doesn’t make you wait for it to work when you’re already shivering naked in the shower.
When water stays hot on the way to your shower, it only means that you’ll be using less water. This can be done by insulating the first 5 to 10 feet of piping from your water heater.
And like the tip above, you can take on this project by yourself. Check out this guide by the DEA.
6. Wash clothes in cold water
Did you know that around 60 percent of Americans wash their clothes with warm water?
It may seem like a harmless thing to do but heat can cause shrinkage and break down dyes in fabric. Also, there’s the obvious problem – you need the energy to warm water and energy costs money.
So why do most people still do it? Well, for one thing, most detergents are manufactured for warm water use. There’s also the belief that tough stains break up better in hot water.
The good news is you can use cold water to wash your clothes even if they’re stained badly. You may have to use a special detergent but at least you know you’re doing Mother Nature a solid.
7. Don’t let the water run
Not everyone just can go out and buy the best water heater. So if that isn’t an option for you, you have to be more practical with your water consumption.
If you’re using hot water to wash your face or brush your teeth, don’t leave the faucet running. You may be thinking you’re not leaving the faucet running for too long but those minutes really add up.
Shut the faucet off when you’re not using it. It doesn’t even take a minute and it’s the easiest thing you can do in terms of maximizing your water heater energy savings.
8. Fix it
Is your water heater leaking?
If yes, you must first check that it’s not because of condensation. Water heaters naturally produce moisture if the temperature setting is too low or if you have an undersized gas heater.
Now if the leak is from the cold water inlet and hot water outlet connections, you just need to tighten the inlet and outlet pipes. It’s an easy fix that won’t even take you 5 minutes as long as you have a good quality pipe wrench.
For water heaters with a leaking bottom, your best bet is to call a licensed plumbing or HVAC company. This isn’t a DIY job. You should definitely call a licensed water heater specialist.
9. Use energy-efficient appliances
You may not be ready to invest in the best water heater yet but you should really look into buying a dishwasher and clothes washer that are ENERGY STAR-qualified.
Not only will you use less energy with these appliances, you’ll use less water too.
10. Replace your old heater
Sometimes, there’s no way around it. You need to say goodbye to your old heater so you can maximize your energy savings.
When you’re ready to buy the best water heater there is, make sure you don’t forget to compare fuel costs. Consider also your monthly costs and don’t just choose a heater based on initial installation fees.
Get The Best Water Heater
The best doesn’t always cost an arm and a leg. At Masters, we make it a point to help customers who are shopping for an affordable replacement for their old water heaters.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (317) 528-9777. You can also send your inquiries via our Contact Us form.