When you consider that water heating accounts for as much as 20 percent of energy usage in the average home, it can really pay to improve water heater efficiency. One of the simplest ways to reduce your water heating bill is lowering the water heater temperature. Here's how:
Lowering Water Heater Temperature
The only tools you'll need are a screwdriver (if you have an electric water heater) and a thermometer. First, take a temperature reading of the most distant hot water outlet from the water heater. This gives you a point of reference. If the temperature is already 115 to 120 degrees, you don't need to change a thing. If it's higher, follow these steps:
Electric Water Heater
- Turn off the circuit breaker.
- Remove the panel near the bottom of the tank. If your water heater has two panels (i.e. two thermostats), remove them both.
- Turn back both thermostats, if applicable, to the same setting. The dial may only indicate "High" and "Low".
- Wait a few hours and check the temperature again. Adjust the thermostat up or down as necessary.
Gas Water Heater
- The thermostat for gas water heaters is located on the gas valve.
- After measuring hot water temperature at the most distant hot water outlet, turn back the thermostat a notch or two.
- Wait a few hours and check the temperature again.
If you're worried your steamy showering days are over, fret not. A temperature of 120 degrees is adequate for most folks, and there are other ways to boost hot water temperature and save energy.
- Insulate all hot water piping with foam sleeves.
- Insulate the freshwater intake to the water heater. This doesn't increase temperature, but it saves energy.
- If you have an older water heater, wrap it with water heater tank insulation.
- Drain a quart of water from the drain valve each month to remove sediment.
- Repair piping or water heater leaks.
For more information on how to save money lowering your water heater temperature and other valuable tips, please contact Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning in Fort Wayne today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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