If you're still one of the few homeowners using a storage water heater, you've likely started to notice that the heating bill is growing more expensive with each passing month. Water heating makes up 14 to 18 percent of an average utility bill, which accounts for $400 to $600 a year, according to the Department of Energy.
Wonder how you can get that monthly cost down as low as possible? Follow some of these tips:
1. Go tankless
Electric tankless water heaters are vastly superior to storage water heaters when it comes to energy usage. Storage water heaters suffer from standby heat loss. This occurs when a member of the household turns on the hot water faucet at the sink, sending a signal to the heater to warm up the water in the tank. The next time hot water is called upon could be hours, which means that the water in the tank will sit there and start to lose heat. The next time someone needs hot water, the system uses more energy to heat it up – ultimately wasting what it had already used.
Electric tankless water heaters use thermal optic sensors to heat the water on-demand as it passes through the system. This means that less energy is being used to heat the same amount of water. Ultimately, this change shows up on the utility bill.
2. Reduce water use
This is easier said than done, in part because not everyone understands the parts of their routine that use the most water. Here are some of the ways you use water the most when you least expect it:
- Shorter showers: Homeowners should avoid filling the bathtub and taking long showers. Get in and out quickly to cut down on your bill.
- Fix leaks: Remember that leaky faucet that's been on your to-do list for months? It's costing you $1 a month and 3,153 gallons a year, according to the DOE. Take a Saturday to make sure there are no drips coming from anywhere.
- Cold water: Using warm water cycles for your laundry can cost a ton of money. Consider running your clothes through cold water – especially during the rinse cycle.
Follow some of these tips and the savings will add up quickly.
3. Low-flow faucet
Low-flow faucets can greatly reduce the amount of water your system is pumping through to the sink. Generally, faucets pour water out at 2.5 gallons per minute, according to Code Green Houston. By installing a low-flow product, homeowners can cut that number down to 0.5 to 1 gpm.
These products aren't just limited to sinks. Low-flow shower heads are available as well, and will further help curtail water waste.
The DOE suggests insulating the first few feet of pipes leaving your water heater system to give warm water the extra chance of making it to the faucet during the winter. There are multiple ways to do so, and products that you can buy online. By insulating the pipes, it mitigates standby heat loss a little longer than it normally would.
By using some of these tips you should easily be able to cut down your water bill over the period of a few months.