Ken's Weekly E-Tip: Water Heater Savings
An electric water heater is second only to space heating and cooling in monthly energy use. A heat pump water heater can reduce water heating costs by half. If you're not ready for making a large water heater investment, over $1,000 just for the tank, here are some ways to save money with your current water heater:
Take Short Showers Instead of Baths
Savings depends on your family's bathing habits. A long, hot shower may use a lot more hot water than a bath where the tub isn't filled to the brim.
Lower Water Heater Temperature
Save 3 to 5 percent on your water heating costs with every 10 degree reduction in temperature. I recommend setting the thermostat to 120 degrees.
Don't Let the Water Run
Don't let water run while brushing teeth or stepping away from sink to grab a dirty dish. All those extra minutes add up to a lot of wasted hot water. It only takes a second to turn it off.
Use Cold Water for Most Laundry Loads
Most detergents wash just fine in cold water. Always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
Use Your Dishwasher Efficiently
Wash only full loads, choose shorter wash cycles, and activate the booster heater if your dishwasher has one.
A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month. At 60 drips per minute, you waste 8.64 gallons per day, 259 gallons per month, and just over 3,153 gallons per year. That is a LOT of good, clean water just going down the drain!
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Federal regulations require new shower heads and faucets to have low flow rates. For a small investment in low-flow shower heads, you can achieve water savings of 25 percent to 60 percent.
Install Heat Traps on Your Water Heater Tank
If the hot water line leaving your tank is too hot to touch, it needs a heat trap. Installing one could save $15 to $30 annually on your water heating bill. You may need a professional to install them on your existing tank. Newer water heaters include heat traps. Check with your manufacturer.
Insulate the first few feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater to reduce pipe loss.
If your tank is warm when placing the palms of your hand on it, insulate with a tank wrap. For electric tanks, be careful not to cover the thermostat. Always follow the manufacturer's directions.
Water Heater Program
Why not consider having Central Electric Cooperative install a new Marathon water heater with a life-time warranty against leaks for as long as you own your home. Our tank is highly efficient and we do all the work for just $670. Click here to learn more.
Earn $25 Bill Credit
Let CEC install a load control device on your electric water heater and earn a $25 one-time bill credit and a monthly $2.50 bill credit. Call 800-521-0570 x2195 to learn more. Members having a water heater installed by the cooperative are not eligible for the credits.
Twitter and Load Control
Participants in our load control program for electric heat and water heaters can find out when and how long control periods are predicted by logging onto www.central.coop and clicking our Twitter logo. Please remember that these are only predictions and actual times may vary.
If you have any ideas for future E-Tip topics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.