When it comes to appliances in your home that eat up the energy, your hot water heater is the one appliance that is almost always going to lose the efficiency battle. It is constantly working to keep water hot and ready to use whenever you need or want it. Ultimately, though, as the water continues to sit there, it will cool down, which leads to a standby heat loss. Then, the heating element will automatically switch on in order to warm the water on. And, this cycle will constantly repeat itself. With hot water heaters making up around 17 percent of your home's total energy usage, it makes sense that you need to figure out a way to make it more energy-efficient. Here are two ways to do just that:
1. Turn Down the Thermostat.
Many homeowners have the temperature on their hot water heaters turned up way too high and don't realize it. According to the Department of Energy, this is often because they come pre-set at 140 degrees, which is a safety hazard, and it only needs to be at 120 degrees. You can save a significant amount of money by turning it down. In fact, the Department of Energy reports that you can save between three and five percent on your energy bill for every 10 degrees that you turn down your thermostat.
2. Drain Sediment from the Tank.
Your hot water heater will gradually build up sediment inside of it. As it does, this sediment will cause its efficiency to decrease, which will make it difficult to save energy. If you drain the sediment from the tank, it will help it to run more efficiency. Luckily, it isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds.
To drain the hot water tank, you will need to first turn the power and water off to the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, you will need to turn the burner to "pilot". Next, you will get a garden hose and attach it to the spigot, which is located near the bottom of the water heater. You will take the other end of the hose and either run it out a bathroom window or run it into your bathtub drain. Now, you need to lift the pressure-relief valve and turn the water heater's spigot on. Water will then start flowing out of the tank.
Some water heater manufacturers recommend draining your tank completely up to twice per year, but the Department of Energy says that you really only need to drain a quart of water every three months.
Talk to a contractor, like Buchner Bernie Inc, for more help.