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Getting Better Performance from Your Appliances, Part 1: Your Water Heater

Temperature adjuster

Today’s high efficiency appliances do more work with less energy than ever before – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make small changes to squeeze a little more performance out of them.

In this first of a four-part series, we will take a look at getting more from one of the unsung heroes of home comfort: your water heater.

Getting the most from your water heater

Let’s face it: without a water heater, many of our most important comforts would disappear – hot showers and clean clothing and dishes, to name three important ones.

Those comforts come at a cost, though: water heating is the 2nd largest operating expense in your home, typically accounting for 14-18 percent of your utilities each month according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

The good news is with some simple adjustments, you can stay on the low end of that number, or even below it. Here are five suggestions to get more water heating bang for your buck in your Pennsylvania home:

  1. Lower your water heater thermostat – Water heaters have a default temperature setting that is higher than needed for your appliances and taps. Aim for a temperature of 115 to 120 degrees for the best balance of economy and comfort.
  2. Insulate your hot water pipe – Water sitting in uninsulated pipes in your cold basement will experience “standby heat loss” as it waits to be used. By insulating the pipes between your water heater and your appliances and taps, you can minimize that heat loss and improve overall water heating efficiency.
  3. Insulate your storage tank – There’s that standby heat loss again – this time in your hot water storage tank. By insulating your storage tank with a jacket, your water heater won’t have do its job twice.*
  4. Get preventive maintenance – Deposits build up in your water heater’s storage tank over time, forcing it to work harder to deliver the same performance*. Like any appliance, it pays to maintain your water heater to avoid costly repairs.
  5. Use less hot water – Install flow restricting showerheads to reduce your hot water usage by up to 50 percent without affecting shower pressure. You can also take shorter showers, fix leaky faucets, and use higher-efficiency appliances.

*You can also avoid this problem entirely with a tankless propane water heatercontact us to learn more).

Time for a water heater upgrade? We can help! Contact the pros at Ace-Robbins to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on a high efficiency traditional or tankless water heater installation for your northeast Pennsylvania home!

Next week: Tips for your furnace