Gas hot water systems are deemed one of the most important devices you need to install in your home. Without it, ordinary activities like taking a bath, doing the dishes and washing your clothes can become challenging. After all, who wants to use ice-cold water while going about your basic activities like taking a bath or washing the dishes, right? Taking its importance into account, it does not come as a surprise if gas hot water systems comprise as much as 14 – 25 percent of many household’s overall energy consumption.
Effectively reduce your water heater energy consumption by keeping in mind the following practical tips.
- Reduce the tank’s thermostat.
Many experts advise you to lower the thermostat’s temperature to 120 degrees. This way, you can reduce energy consumption by as much as 3 to 5 percent and at the same time prevent scalding.
- Use less hot water.
To help cut down electrical expenses, use less of it. The next time you enter the bathroom, try to take shorter showers. You may also install low-flow showerheads and tap aerators. Doing so will help lessen both your electrical and water bills.
Considering a tankless water heater is a smart investment, too. While its initial cost is quite expensive than a conventional one, such type is more durable. In addition, it’s not only designed to last for a lifetime and help save more space in the house, but it can also significantly help cut down your energy usage.
- Keep it sediment-free.
Tanks accumulate sediment overtime. Such build up tend to affect the efficiency of the unit. To keep it up and running, drain it regularly. Do this by turning off the unit and setting its burner to “pilot”. Open the drain valve located in the bottom of the tank and drain at least one or two gallons of water.
How often should you drain your hot water tank usually depends on the purity and source of your water supply. Most experts would advice to have them drained annually. If your water is high in minerals or if you happen to notice any sediment build-up inside the tank, draining it partially once a month would be prudent.
- Insulate hot water tank.
Insufficient insulation of tanks causes heat loss. Even if you aren’t using your water heater, it’s still storing hot water. By simply placing a jacket or blanket around it, you can cut down up to nine percent of your overall water expenses.
Older units don’t usually come with effective tank insulation. Newer ones on the other hand, provide more efficient insulation. Determine whether or not your unit needs an insulating blanket by touching it. If it’s warm, it means it isn’t well insulated. To remedy this, cover the tank with a blanket or jacket with an R-5 to R-10 rating. In addition, make sure not to cover significant safety markings and manufacturer details when installing the blanket.
- Insulate exposed water pipes.
With proper insulation, water tends to become 2 to 4 degrees warmer the moment it reaches the tap. Well-insulated hot water pipes are deemed more efficient in the reducing energy consumption.
In essence, there are different types of water pipe insulation. However, the two most common kinds are pipe wrap and tubular sleeve.
Pipe wrap comes in various materials, including regular fibreglass and plastic, foiled backed natural cotton, foiled backed fibreglass and rubber pipe insulation tape. They are widely available in most home improvement shops.
Installing a pipe wrap is easy. All you have to do wrap the insulation around the pipe, overlapping it by at least a half inch and secure it with a duct tape. More importantly, make sure not to leave any areas or corners exposed.
Tubular sleeves on the other hand are commonly used when more pipes need to be insulated. In addition, they are often made of either foam or rubber. Each side of the tubular sleeves can be split open and can be secured using a duct tape once they are applied on the pipe.
Additionally, make sure to buy materials that exactly match your pipes’ diameters. A snug fit is vitally important to make sure hot water pipes are properly insulated.
Keep in mind that the pipe sleeves seam must face down at all times. Furthermore, it should be secured enough on every foot to ensure the sleeve won’t move.
Most experts would advice home owners to insulate all their hot water pipes, especially in the first three feet of water pipe entering the heater. This is to prevent the heat from escaping from the hot water system via the cold water pipes.
If you’re using gas water heaters, keep in mind that they need to be insulated differently because insulation is flammable. Insulation and pipe sleeves must be kept at least six feet away from the flue. Also, use wire instead of tape or plastic when securing the insulation. Plastic and tape are flammable and therefore should not be utilised in an open heat source.
Follow one, two or all of these helpful tips and you’re likely to notice a huge difference in your next electrical bill.