The only time we tend to think about our water heater is when our shower never warms up or water starts to leak out from the utility closet. An important water heater issue to consider is its efficiency which can impact your monthly utility bill significantly.
Did you know?
- The average US home uses 64 gallons of water daily
- Gas water heaters can heat water up to twice as fast as electric
- Water heaters account for between 12% and 20% of your utility bill
Water heater tips
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your water heater is the second-largest (heating/air conditioning is the first) expense in your home. Depending on the type of water heater, 12 to 18 %of your gas or electric bill is for hot water. The average American household utilizes 64 gallons of water per day If you have a teen (or teens) your usage could be double that figure. At the 64 gallon average, the average home will spend between $400 – 600 on water heating per year. This might not seem like much to some but you can reduce that cost.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides several useful tips to save on your home’s water heating:
- Turn down the water heater thermostat. Often, hot water heaters come set at 140 degrees. 120 is often a good setting for many households.
- Shorten the shower. A long hot shower can be a relaxing but can be expensive if every night. Think about limiting bathing time and save the long showers for special oc
- Replace full-flow with low-flow faucets and shower heads. The fewer gallons you use, the lower your utility bill will be.
- Look at your other appliances which use hot water. Use the hot water settings as needed. If you have had them for 10 years, consider replacing them with new more efficient models.
- If you didn’t know, using a fully loaded dishwasher is more efficient than hand washing.
- Leaky faucets add up. A leak as small as one drip per second can add $1.00 to your monthly utility bill.
- The right fit. For storage water heaters, make sure you are using the correct tank size for your needs. You need your water heater tank to be large enough to handle the busiest hot water usage time in your household, but not too large or you will be wasting energy heating water that you don’t normally need. Warrior Plumbing and Heating can help calculate how many gallons you need in an hour, and find the model with a matching first-hour rating.
- Old water heaters need to be upgraded. The efficiency of home appliances is constantly improving. If you have a water heater that is more than 10 years old, you need to start shopping for a new model. Make sure you are investing in a model with the “Energy Star” rating label.
Is it time for a new water heater? Here are 5 signs that it’s time!
- Age: Most water heaters begin to have problems when they’ve been in regular use for 8 to 10 years.
- Rust: Is your hot water less than clear? Or is rust visible on the storage tank or pipe connections?
- Noise: Water heaters should be relatively noiseless. If you notice rumbling noises increasing in volume it’s time to start shopping.
- Leaks: It pays to pay regular attention to your water heater. Catching a small leak can save you thousands of dollars in property damage.
- Temperature: If your hot water is becoming noticeably cooler, it may be in need of a new thermostat. If your heater is less than 7 years old, a new thermostat may be a good direction to go. If it’s older than 8 years old, odds are that more issues will start and you’ll be better off finding a replacement.
What are my options?
Tankless water heaters
These are small in size and mount to the wall. They heat the water only on demand and provides a constant supply of hot water. Tankless water heaters are 20 – 50% more energy-efficient than storage water heaters, saving a minimum of $100 per year.
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
Optimization: For homes with larger hot water needs, additional tankless water heaters can be installed in parallel or with separate connections balancing the hot water load.
Tankless coil indirects
These water heating systems leverage the heat from a home’s furnace or boiler. The Tankless version uses a heat exchanger to warm cold water on demand. For this to be an effective system the furnace or boiler needs to on throughout the year and therefore only works in cold climates. The indirect heating system adds a storage tank which contains the heat exchanger (from the furnace or boiler). These heaters have a low installation cost and are efficient but work best in cold climates. These therefore may not be suitable for most Maryland homeowners.
Life Expectancy: 10-11 Years
Is your water heater costing you more money than it should be? Is it heating efficiently? If you are having any issues with your water heater or if you’d like us to give it a quick inspection, give us a call. We can service any water heater and also assist with the purchase of a new one if needed.