Upgrade Appliances To Save Energy
Keep an eye on your hot-water-heater to ensure maximum efficiency and avoid a problem water-heating-system.
Proper maintenance of your water heating unit will provide years of efficiency. Isn't it always the way that these types of appliances break down at the wrong time? No-one likes to be without hot water for too long.
Since heating water is high on the list of home energy expenses, it's always necessary to do whatever possible to keep costs down to avoid any needless energy output.
There are steps you can take to get the best years from your water-heating-system and not be inconvenienced when you least expect it.
Homes are designed the way they are for specific reasons.
It is important that the hot-water-heater is placed in close proximity to the kitchen, bathroom and laundry-room. This is because precious energy is lost in long pipe runs. The shorter the pipe, the more efficient the retaining of heat because it doesn't have to travel far to where it is going.
Thin pipe is also more efficient because hot water can be trapped in thicker pipe and energy is lost.
The hot and cold pipe coming from the tank can be insulated for the first 6 feet to help retain heat.
Pipe can also be insulated where it runs through unheated places like crawl-spaces and basements. This can reduce your bill by 2% overall, and reduce pipe-sweating over the summer months.
Pipe-wrap insulation should not be within 15 cm. of the vents at the top of the tank.
Plastic pipe is not insulated at all.
Heat traps can be installed on the hot and cold pipes to prevent heat loss if your tank is older.
Newer electric water heaters do come sufficiently insulated, but if your tank is older, you can wrap an insulating or fiberglass-blanket around it. Be sure not to cover the thermostat.
You can purchase insulating kits. Check for proper instructions from the Manufacturer.
Lower The Temperature
The factory pre-set temperature can be lowered. There should be instructions on how to do this. 120 degrees F. is a reasonable setting.
If you are going away for any length of time, you can lower the temperature at this time as well. A timer that will only allow the water to heat for a minimal period of time daily could be set up.
You can also consider this idea for anytime, but that would depend on how much you know your household needs to function during the course of the day.
Don't get caught inconvenienced!
Keep it Clean
Every 3 months or so, drain 4 or 5 cups of water from the tank. This will take away any sediment that can interfere with the heating process.
Is It Time For A New Hot-Water-Heater?
If the surface of the tank is hot or even warm, then some of the energy is being wasted.
If your tank is 7 or 8 years old, it may be time before it quits altogether, to look at something new.
Again, nobody likes these kinds of surprises.
A hot water tank can last up to 15 years. When shopping for a new one, buy for energy-efficiency.
Check for the Energy-Label. This label will give you valuable
information on energy consumption for similar models.
It will also give you the estimate regarding what it would cost
to operate that specific model. This would be based on average
electricity costs for that time.
It may cost a bit more than a standard basic model, but the savings over the life of the unit will be well worth it. In the meantime, stay with a water-heater-maintenance plan, and be aware of problems before they get too serious.
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