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There’s nothing like a hot shower on a cold winter morning, but most of us know that we can’t stay in the shower too long or we’ll drive the water bill up. What many of us don’t consider is that hot showers also use a lot of energy — which drives the electricity bill up as well. According the the U.S. Department of Energy, the average water heater in a household of 4 runs three hours each day, estimating that a 50-gallon, 5,500-watt water
heater with a .90 EF and an electricity rate of $.16 per kilowatt-hour will cost $781 each year.
That may sound like a foreign language to you, but you might be interested to know that it’s possible to lower that yearly hot water cost with a few easy changes. For lower energy bills in 2018:
Most water heaters come preset at 140 degrees, which really isn’t safe. For every 10 degrees you turn down your water heater’s thermostat, you’ll save 3% to 5% on energy use. A water temperature of 120 degrees is high enough for household use, and high enough to reduce mineral buildup in your tank and pipes. If you’re not sure how to change the temperature on your water heater, ask a trusted plumber in Middletown.
A family of four who showers five minutes a day uses 700 gallons of water per week. Consider installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to cut hot water consumption by up to 60% to save 14,000 gallons of water a year.
To save on energy bills, use the economy setting on your dishwasher, and remember that it’s not necessary to waste hot water by rinsing each dish before you load it. Simply scrape off larger chunks into the trash first.
Water heaters build up minerals and other sediment which makes them operate less efficiently. Draining this sediment periodically will keep it
running better, resulting in lower bills. Talk to a plumber at Putman about having this done safely.
Water in insulated exposed pipes arrives at the faucet 2 to 4 degrees warmer than in non-insulated pipes. This means you won’t have to run the water as long in order to get hot water. You can insulate exposed pipes in the basement or garage yourself, but you should talk to a plumber about insulating hot water pipes in crawl spaces or walls.
With the above tips, you can make your hot water heater last longer and enjoy lower utility bills all year. Just give us a call if you have any questions about how we can help!