Accounting for up to 18% of your household’s energy costs, your water heater is a huge power hog. It takes a lot of juice to keep this hog fed and happy, but there are ways to cut costs and save energy!
First you need to establish if your electric hot water tank is losing heat. The best way to do this is to touch the outside of your tank. If it feels warm, then it’s safe to say that it’s losing heat.
Wrap the tank in an insulation blanket to prevent further loss. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before wrapping your heater in any old bedspread. Unless your duvet cover is insulated, it cannot be used.
If you have a gas-fired water heater you can’t wrap it in a blanket. This is incredibly dangerous and you could start a fire.
If you’re leaving for the weekend (or any period of time for that matter), make sure your water heater is set to the lowest temperature. Some units come with a vacation setting, making it easier to turn them down.
Leaky faucets will always be a problem. If you hear an annoying drip-drip-drip sound coming from your taps, fix them right away! Leaky faucets, when not dealt with, can waste almost 130 litres of water per year. That’s a lot of water and a lot of extra money on your utility bill.
Additionally, installing low-flow aerators on your bathroom and kitchen faucets also contributes to the energy saving and water conservation process.
If your current water heater is on it’s last breath, consider replacing it with a new energy-efficient model. Yes, they do cost more than traditional water heaters but for the lifetime of the appliance (approximately 15 years) you will save big-time.
Another option to consider is a tankless water heater. These heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Tankless water heaters are known to save more power than even the most energy-efficient certified new models, which will greatly reduce your energy consumption and costs.
Natural gas on-demand models work in the same way as tankless heaters except they come at a higher price. No matter which option you choose, you will save energy and that is all that matters.
Whether you purchase a new energy-efficient water heater or wrap your existing one in insulated blankets, you are doing your part towards energy conservation. The planet with thank you and your wallet will, too!