Inexpensive Water Heater Efficiency Upgrades


As energy prices have risen throughout the last decade, everyone is seeking ways to reduce energy consumption in an effort to spend less. Moreover, consuming less energy has become mainstream through the “greening” of America. Eco-friendly solutions have been developed by engineers ranging from automobiles to power plants to households. Throughout the early part of this decade the prospering American economy led to 1000s of new homes being built and many others renovated.

Energy Star appliances were the trendy choice in new construction and renovation as the very hungry homebuyer market forced many homebuilders to put in the most eco-friendly appliances as available to attract buyers to their domiciles. Recent economic events and the ensuing recession has stalled the homebuilding industry and halted renovations. This does not mean, however , that American homeowners are not seeking energy saving solutions within their home still. With the current state of the economy, replacing your existing appliances with a high Energy or efficiency Star certified type may not be financially possible. Let’s focus on solutions with your existing appliances.

There are several energy consuming appliances within your family, but the focus with this text is the heated water heater. Whether you have an electric, propane, or propane hot water heater there are things you can do to save energy and ultimately save on your utility bill. It stands to reason that the best way to save energy is to reduce the amount of electricity or fuel gas employed by your hot water heater, maximize the efficiency of the conversion of fuel to heated water, and minmise heat loss from the hot water heater to the plumbing fixture using heated water.

Reduce Amount of Fuel or Electricity Gas Consumption

Reduce the holding temperature of the water heater by dialing down the thermostat to the manufacturer’s recommended setting of 120°F. Many homeowners keep their heated water heater’s thermostat dialed past the standard set point as defined typically by the solid mark on the thermostat knob on the lower side of the hot water heater. Remember, many appliances such as dishwashers have internal heaters which heat the water to 160°F for sanitary reasons.

Consider installing low-flow type shower aerators and heads. Although the term low-flow has been shunned by homeowners in previous low-flow plumbing fixtures, manufacturers have produced fixtures which retain sought after pressure using between 10-50% less water.

Only wash full loads in your automatic washer. Washing machines use large volumes of heated water, between 5-30 gallons, which can provide serious demand on your home’s water heater.

Use the cold-cold selection with your automatic washer taking advantage of new laundry detergents designed for chilled water only by Tide. This will reduce the sum total hot water consumption at home by at least 10% depending on the size of your household.

Maximize the Efficiency of Raw Energy to Heated Water

When you yourself have an electric water heater, consider replacing the heating elements if they still functioning even. In many areas the incoming water supply if “hard” or contains lime/calcium which adheres to the heating elements and significantly reduces their efficiency. This is a facile task and can be a D-I-Y depending on local code and your mechanical inclination.

If you have a natural gas water heater, consider having a licensed plumber perform a routine cleaning of the burner and tune it to maximum efficiency. This really is should be no more than a $100 job and certainly will immediately pay you back in energy savings.

Often water heaters shall fill with sediment from the incoming water supply. This sediment will collect in the bottom of the tank and reduce steadily the overall capacity of your water heater. To get rid of this sediment, simply attach a hose to the hose bib at the beds base of you hot water heater and drain the tank completely. Make sure you have shut off the ability or fuel supply and the incoming water supply before doing this exercise. Once the tank has been drained, turn the incoming water supply on while keeping the hose bib open allowing the tank to be completely flushed of all sediment.

Minmise Heat Loss from the Water Heater to the Plumbing Fixture

Although this is an evident recommendation, frequently times it is one that is neglected or not saw as an important energy draw. The most obvious thing to confirm when minimizing heat loss is that no fixtures or faucets are leaking. There are many who believe a drip in some places does not add up however it does, to the tune of five gallons a full day or one hundred fifty gallons a month, which will be the equivalent to three or more full tanks of hot water. A fifty cent seal can usually help you save one hundred fifty gallons of hot water each month.

Consider insulating the hot water supply lines between the water heater and the plumbing fixture. In all likelihood, the vast majority of the hot water piping within your home will be buried inside floors and walls. This piping will not lend itself to being insulated easily, thus it is not recommended to begin removing wallboard to access this piping. Where you need to concentrate is piping that will be exposed, especially if your water heater is located in your garage or an unheated space.

Insulating the piping is straightforward, simply procure closed cell preformed piping insulation from any true home improvement store and slide over the piping. The tricky part is the 90° corners. The trade secret is to remove a pie shaped piece with a software application knife at the interior part of the corner allowing the insulation to bend around cleanly. At the corner simply make one wrap with electrical tape and you are good to go.

If your water heater rests on a concrete pad or slab, consider installing an insulating pad between the root of the water heater and the concrete pad. On a side note, if you do not currently have a drain pan underneath your water heater now’s a good time to install one. You will have a difficult time obtaining an insulating pad probably, as they are not really a shelf item and also have been overlooked for a long time as a means to save energy. An insulating pad is a piece of high load polystyrene insulation simply. By placing a 1 ½” piece of high load polystyrene insulation at the base of your water heater you are in possession of an R-10 insulation barrier mitigating the warmth sink effect of the concrete slab.

It’s not recommended that an insulation jacket be installed over top of the hot water heater storage tank and u will get this in The stark reality is your water heater features a closed cell polyurethane insulation layer installed between the inner storage tank and the surface metal closure jacket. This is premium grade insulation which is better than the batt insulation jacket sold in home improvement stores. This jacket is 1″ batt insulation which has an R-value of approximately 3, which once you account for the air gaps is 1 to Understanding the minimal insulation gain really, it is apparent the insulation jacket is not a worthwhile installation.

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