When trying to save energy, most homeowners focus their efforts on decreasing their air conditioner or heater use. Most don’t realize that the water heater is typically the second biggest energy expense within a home.
The average water heater can cost as much as $600 per year to run.
However, new energy-efficient technology can cut that number in half.
When is it time to replace your water heater?
• Hot water starts taking longer to get to the faucet.
• Tanks start leaking and cause water damage to flooring.
• Keep in mind that older water heaters – even if they’re working fine – are not as energy efficient as newer models and they cost more to run.
Types of water heaters and cost savings
• Conventional tank water heaters use either electricity or gas. They heat and store a set amount of water in the tank.
o Newer tank water heaters often use a thicker insulation – saving up to $30 per year.
• Tankless water heaters do not store water, and they only heat water as it is being used.
o This saves an average of $175 per year for a family of four.
o An important consideration is that tankless water heaters require larger gas lines because they need more gas in short streaks. Your existing water lines may or may not be designed for this.
• Condensing-styled water heaters can save about $170 per year for a family of four.
• Heat pump water heaters save about $150 per year for a family of four.
Newer, more energy-efficient water heaters will cost more money upfront, but your savings will add up over time. And, there are often rebates to get some of the initial investment back.
To help conserve water-heating energy, you can also insulate your water pipes, and set your water heater to 125 degrees. (Never set the temperature lower than 120 degrees. A temperature below 120 degrees can allow bacteria to grow. )
If you would like more information about energy efficiency, visit our website at powerhousetv.com, or find out when you can watch a full episode on your local Iowa or Wisconsin TV station at http://www.powerhousetv.com/GetShowInfo/StationsShowTimes/