Do you often wonder why your energy bills are so high? The A/C and furnace are not the only appliances to blame. The water heater accounts for 15 to 25 percent of the energy usage in the typical home. One of the simplest and quickest ways to save money on your energy bill is to turn back the water heater temperature. Here’s why:
Water Heater Energy Usage
Your water heater powers on and off to maintain water temperature at the thermostat setting. When you call for hot water at a faucet or appliance, fresh water enters the tank to replace the hot water that exits.
Fresh water in the Grand Traverse County area can be 50 degrees. Temperatures this cold substantially reduce the overall temperature inside the water heater. Now, your water heater must use your energy dollars to bring the water mix back to the thermostat setting. When you consider a clothes washer may use up to 40 gallons, your water heater is often working double-time.
Even when you’re not using hot water, heat is lost through the sides, bottom, and top of the water heater. This is called standby heat loss. To compensate, your water heater turns on to re-heat the unused stored water.
Turn Back the Temperature
If you have an electric water heater, turn off the power at the circuit box before you start. The thermostat dial for electric water heaters is concealed behind a panel near the tank’s bottom. If you see two panels, that means you have two thermostats.
- Remove one or both panels.
- Turn back the thermostat towards the “low” indicator.
- Wait a few hours and then check the temperature of hot water at the most distant faucet from the water heater.
- Your ideal temperature is 120 degrees, as suggested by Energy Star.
The process is the same for gas water heaters except that you don’t need to turn off the electricity and the thermostat dial is located on the gas valve.
For more details on how to turn back the water heater temperature and save money, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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