It has been estimated that in a home that in the average home, heating costs account for up to 18% of the total energy consumption in the home. If you are worried about the high cost of energy now and in the future, using your water heating in a more efficient manner should be one of the things to use to achieve this. You will definitely notice some great benefits of proactively increasing the efficiency of the water heating system, particularly if you have an older water heater. The main issues to look out for in order to achieve this include:
Using quality faucets and shower heads
The quality of your faucets and showerheads will determine not only how much energy you use for water heating, but also how much you spend on water as well. For the purposes of energy conservation, low flow and aerating shower heads and faucets have been found to be very effective. Standing under a shower under very high pressure might feel comfortable, but reducing the flow rate through the shower head will help you save energy and water. Besides, making sure that the flow is just right will not have a noticeable effect on how comfortable you will be.
The identification and repair of leaky faucets is also encouraged. If the faucet usually dispenses hot water, having it leak will waste a lot of hot water, and this means that the heating system will be heating water that will not be used. In addition to that, the presence of leaks is also likely to result in damage to other parts of the house including the walls.
Check your thermostat setting
Most homeowners have the habit of setting the thermostat as high as it will go. However, this is not practical for most domestic uses. Setting the thermostat to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure that the water is hot enough for most domestic purposes. Your heating system will not waste energy, and you will still enjoy hot water. Of course, it is also important to maintain the whole system including the thermostat to make sure that the set temperature is what it maintains the water at.
Insulation of the storage tank
Most people know that insulating the water storage tank is important in reducing heat wastage, but most don’t know that there is a technique to doing this. The insulation has to be put in place in such a manner that it strikes the balance between cost and effectiveness. In addition to that, one must also choose an insulating agent that is safe and less likely to catch fire.
When doing the insulation, it is important to avoid insulating the thermostat, since this might interfere with its function. Other areas that should not be insulated include the top, bottom and burner compartment of the tank. It is also important to insulate the first six feet of any pipes connected to the heater.
Clearly, tank maintenance is not a matter of simply getting some insulating material and wrapping it around the tank. For optimal results, you need to consult a HVAC company for assistance in doing this.
Selection of associated appliances
Some appliances including dishwashers and clothes washers will need to be used in association with the water heater. Purchase of appliances that have an Energy Star rating is recommended. These are designed to reduce energy wastage in many different ways. This includes reduced wastage of water, and an overall reduction in energy consumption.
Regular tank drainage
One of the maintenance measures you will need to take when using the water heater is to drain the tank every three months or so. The logic behind this is that as the tank empties and fills, sediment from the incoming water tends to collect at the bottom of the tank. Incidentally, the heating element is also located at the bottom of the tank, and the presence of the debris will act as an insulator between the water and the heating element. When left in place, this reduces the efficiency of the heater.
This drainage should be done every three months or so. If you use a quality HVAC contractor for the maintenance of your heating system, chances are that they will include this in the maintenance protocol.
Consider getting rid of old heaters
Most heaters are designed to work for over ten years. The fact that they are usually expensive is incentive enough for people to stay with theirs for longer than this. However, the cost of not replacing an old heater increases steadily over the years, and it will become more than simply getting a new one. New heaters are designed with better technology and materials, allowing them to be even more efficient than before. If yours is more than 10 years old, you should explore the possibility of replacing it with a newer model for better savings, especially if it was not well taken care of in the past. When replacing the heater, you could also take the opportunity to survey the associated plumbing and fix any errors you find.