Hot water is an expense that can get out of control if you’re not careful. Fortunately, lowering water heating costs is as easy as one, two, three with these tips for improving storage water heater efficiency.
- Lower the water heater temperature: Many water heaters are automatically set to 140 degrees, but a majority of households only need 120-degree water. The only reason not to lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees is if your dishwasher lacks a booster heater. Otherwise, you can save up to 10 percent, and help prevent scalding at the tap, simply by turning the temperature knob down 20 degrees. In addition to lowering water heating bills, storing water at 120 degrees also slows the process of mineral buildup and corrosion that can damage your water heater.
- Install heat traps: Two pipes at the top of a storage water heater allow cool water in and hot water out. By installing heat traps on these pipes, you can save energy by allowing water in, but preventing convective heat loss through the outlet pipe. You should hire a professional HVAC contractor to complete the installation process, which involves pipe soldering.
- Insulate the storage water heater: If your storage water heater feels warm when you touch it, it’s losing heat and costing you more to operate. Adding insulation is a simple, inexpensive process that can reduce heat loss by 25-45 percent, lowering your water heating bills by up to 9 percent and reducing heat gain in your home. Precut jackets are available for electric water heaters that you can probably install yourself. However, the installation process for gas water heaters is a little more complicated, so you should leave the task to a professional. In addition to the jacket you can also install a piece of rigid foam insulation on the bottom of the tank to reduce heat loss by another 4 to 9 percent.
To learn more about running your storage water heater more efficiently, please contact the Beyer Boys. Our family-owned and operated business has served San Antonio and South Texas since 1990.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in San Antonio, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).