Will Lowering Hot Water Temperature Save on Energy?

Your hot water heater can contribute a sizable amount to your energy bills each month. Tank water heaters keep dozens of gallons of water hot and ready for use, but this comes at a price. One way to reduce the energy used by your water heater is to lower the temperature setting. However, it is not the only way to lower your hot water bill. Here are some tips for reducing the cost of hot water in your home.

Reset the Water Temperature

You can set the water temperature on tank water heaters, which can reduce energy use. An efficient setting is 120 degrees. This is hot enough to kill bacteria yet takes less energy to maintain.

Use Less Hot Water

Simply using less hot water is a good way to reduce your energy costs. Shortening showers, using cold water for laundry and not running hot water down the drain can all help reduce the amount of hot water used and decrease energy bills.

Use Insulation

An insulating blanket over a hot water tank can help reduce heat loss. This can be helpful when trying to conserve energy.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Like most appliances, hot water heaters work more efficiently when they are maintained. Flushing once a year and replacing components when needed can help reduce energy use. Keep in mind that water heaters that are 10+ years old are most likely less efficient than newer models. Replacement can help with lowering energy bills.

By keeping the water temperature setting lower and following these tips, you can see a difference on your hot water energy costs. Talk to your local plumber about scheduling routine water heater maintenance or explore replacing your old heater with a new, efficient model.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Comparison of Water Heater Types

If you are building a new home or replacing the water heater in your existing home, you have many options when it comes to the type of water heater.  Before deciding on a water heater, you will need to consider what type of water heater will best fit your needs by providing sufficient hot water while maximizing energy efficiency.

There are several different types of water heaters available.  The most common type is a conventional storage type water heater that heats water in a large tank and keeps it hot and ready for use when needed.  Conventional tank type water heaters have been around for decades, but they waste energy through standby heat loss. By keeping water hot 24 hours a day whether there is a demand for hot water or not, conventional storage water heaters are less efficient than demand water heaters (also called tankless water heaters).

Demand water heaters only heat water as it is needed which makes them more efficient than storage type water heaters.  However, they have other issues such as sizing to ensure that they are capable of meeting peak demand.  You have to be careful to choose a tankless water heater that can produce enough hot water to meet multiple demands such simultaneously supplying hot water for a shower, dishwasher and clothes washwer.

Heat pump water heaters are not as common, but they are an energy efficient way to heat water, especially when integrated with a heat pump system that provides heating and cooling for the home.  Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air while geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the ground.

Finally, solar water heaters use the free energy provided by the sun to heat water.  Depending on where your home is located, a solar water heater can be a cost effective, energy efficient way to heat water but they usually need to be used in conjunction with a backup water heating system.