Join Login Search
For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members
Big Country EC News

Want To Save Energy? Start With the Water Heater

One small appliance change can make a big difference

One common appliance can put you in hot water: Water heaters account for about 18% of a typical home’s energy consumption. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five energy-saving tips:

Lower the temperature of your water heater to “warm,” which is 120 degrees. This will save energy and slows mineral buildup and corrosion in the water heater. Another bonus: A lower water temperature lowers the risk of scalding, especially for older adults and children.

Upgrade your water heater to a newer, energy-efficient model. If yours was made before 2004, when new federal energy efficiency regulations took effect, you’re spending more than you need to heat water. And by purchasing a new one, you can stave off problems like leaks and breakdowns before they happen.

If you’re buying a new water heater, choose one that “fits” your home. A water heater that’s too small for your family’s needs will be overworked, so its burner is constantly running. An oversized unit will waste energy by constantly heating more water than your family needs.

Take shorter showers. Doctors say a five- to 10-minute shower is just enough. Any more, and the hot water can dry out or even damage the surface of your skin. Any less might not be enough time to get clean and hydrate your skin.

Insulate the water heater and pipes. Install a water heater blanket made from insulating material to prevent heat from seeping into the air instead of the water.