Saving Energy on Water Heating This Summer
Your water heater works all year long to provide hot water for dishwashing, laundry, and bathing. Efficient hot water usage offers many benefits, from greater comfort and convenience to lower utility costs every month. Whether your water heater is brand new or several years old, there are many ways you can help to reduce its workload during the summer to prolong the appliance’s lifetime and reduce your home energy and water usage.
Turn Down the Temperature
Regardless of the season, setting your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will provide water hot enough for all your needs while reducing the overall cost of producing hot water. Keeping your water heater at this setting will also help to prevent accidental scalds and burns, particularly if you have children in your home. If your water heater is located outdoors, such as in an exterior closet or garage, consider turning the temperature down a little further. The ambient heat of the summertime air will reduce heat loss through the walls of the tank, keeping your water hotter without the need to consume additional fuel or electricity. If you’re leaving on a summertime vacation that will last more than a few days, set your water heater to “vacation” mode (or its lowest temperature setting) to enjoy additional savings while you’re gone.
Replace Your Fixtures
Replacing your home’s fixtures with eco-friendly low-flow options is a great way to save water and reduce the energy cost of water heating this summer. New fixtures are also a wonderful and easy home upgrade that will transform the look and comfort of your home. Low-flow fixtures use less water overall, which lowers the amount of water wasted while waiting for hot water to reach your tap. Because you’ll use less water overall for tasks such as washing dishes or bathing, you’ll also see energy and water savings throughout the summer and all year long.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
The majority of the energy consumed by your washing machine is actually the energy that goes into heating the water before washing. Washing more loads in cold water will thus improve the energy efficiency of your washing machine and reduce the load on your water heater by bypassing this appliance altogether on laundry day. If you have laundry that requires hot water, change the temperature setting to wash with hot or warm water and rinse with cold to save energy on these loads.
Insulate Your Pipes
Your water heater is fed by a cold water pipe, which brings water into the appliance for heating; water heaters also have an outgoing hot water pipe that carries heated water to your home’s fixtures and appliances. Insulating the first six feet of your hot and cold water pipes can reduce temperature changes in both incoming and outgoing water, making your water heater more efficient. You may find that insulating these pipes allows you to reduce the temperature setting on your water heater, as the insulation ensures that hot water stays hotter when leaving the appliance for its destination inside your home.
In addition to these tips and tricks, your plumber can help you maintain your water heater for efficient function this summer and throughout the year. Take a look through our website to learn more about our water heater and HVAC services near Detroit and Ann Arbor, or click through our blog to find more helpful articles you can use to enjoy a comfortable, more energy efficient home.