You know how to save water by taking shorter showers. But your electric water heater doesn’t just guzzle water; it guzzles electricity.
You can stop wasting electricity by replacing an old water heater with a newer, more energy-efficient model. Also:
- Drain a bucket of water out of the bottom of the heater twice a year. The bottom can fill with sediment, which separates water from the heating element.
- Invest in an inexpensive water heater blanket or insulation kit, especially for older heaters. Do not insulate over doors or vents.
- Before buying a new water heater, estimate your family’s needs. A family of up to four should buy a 30- to 50-gallon tank, while up to seven people might require 50 to 80 gallons. Consider appliances such as hot tubs when calculating how much hot water you use, and consult a plumber for help.
- If your house is more than two levels or if the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room are spaced far apart, it might be more efficient to invest in a smaller water heater for each level.
- Set the water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees or lower. This prevents scalding and standby heat loss, and can lower your water heating bill by 10 percent.
Insulate hot water supply pipes to reduce heat loss.