Water heating currently represents up to 20 percent of US residential energy consumption, making it the third largest energy consumer in homes, behind heating and cooling and kitchen appliances.
Maintaining your water heater will not only save energy, but also will extend the life of the water heater. Here are a few tips to maintain your water heater and save up to 200 lbs. of CO2 per year:
- Drain water heater annually. Sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, which leads the hot water heater to perform inefficiently and lead to higher energy costs. By draining the water heater once per year, you will eliminate the build up inside the water heater and keep the water heater working efficiently.
- During the annual draining process, Inspect the water heater for damage and assess system performance. Check for leaks and any strange noises, may be a sign that it is time to replace your water heater.
- Set water heater temperature. Manufacturers typically preset new hot water heaters at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends homeowners set the heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) to save money and energy. For each 10ºF reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3%-5% in energy costs.
- Insulate water heater. Heat loss from the tank and pipes causes decreased energy efficiency in a conventional hot water heater. You can save money by purchasing a water heater blanket from your local hardware store.