Your faucets, showerheads and plumbing appliances consume lots of hot water. Believe it or not, the Department of Energy states that water heating is the second-largest utility cost behind space heating and cooling, accounting for approximately 18% of your monthly bill. Discover how much energy the average water heater uses and helpful tips to reduce your water heating costs.
The exact cost to run an electric water heater is determined by the size of the unit, how much you use it, its power needs and local costs for electricity. For instance, a medium-sized, 40-gallon water heater that uses 4500 watts and is active for just two hours a day at a rate of $0.13 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) costs about $1.17 to operate per day, which arrives at $35 each month or $426 each year.
If your water heater uses natural gas, you have to consider the size of the unit, how much you use it, its power draw and what you pay for natural gas. For instance, a medium-sized, 40-gallon water heater that uses .205 therms per hour and is active for two hours each day at a cost of $1 per therm costs about $0.62 to operate per day, which comes to $18.60 per month or $226 annually.
As you can see from the examples above, gas water heaters typically cost less to run than comparable electric models because natural gas prices tend to run lower than the price of electricity. Fine-tune the calculations with your exact energy usage and rates to create a more accurate picture of gas vs. electric water heater costs.
Whether your water heater runs on electricity or gas, you can cut your utility costs with these money-saving tips.
Consider that each time you turn on a hot water faucet, you must pay to heat it. Modify your day-to-day habits to lower your bills. Here’s how:
Leaky faucets, showerheads and pipes can waste large quantities of hot water. For example, one drip per second can waste as much as 1,600 gallons per year. Eliminate this waste by repairing plumbing leaks as soon as you notice them.
Modern regulations require new showerheads to consume 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less while kitchen faucets are limited to 2.2 gpm. New bathroom faucets must have flow rates below 1.5 gpm.
You can buy quality, low-flow kitchen and bathroom fixtures for about $10 to $20 each, resulting in up to 60% savings on water use. Try to find the ENERGY STAR® WaterSense label to increase efficiency without negatively influencing performance.
The default setting is 140 degrees. Lower this to 120 degrees to save on water heating costs and lower the possibility of scalding at the tap. Just don’t go any lower than 120 degrees to prevent microbial growth in the tank.
If your water heater doesn’t include a temperature readout, determine the setting with a thermometer at the bathroom or kitchen tap. Adjust the water heater’s dial, wait two hours and measure the water’s temperature. Repeat this process until the thermometer reaches 120 degrees.
Both electric and natural gas water heaters can be insulated with insulation jackets available at home improvement stores. Be mindful to install the insulation correctly to avoid creating a dangerous operating situation. If you’re not sure how to proceed, ask a professional for help. After the tank is insulated, add insulation to the hot and cold pipes coming from the water heater to help things heat up faster at the faucet.
In case your water heater is approaching the end of its life span, look at replacing it with an ENERGY STAR-rated model. A tankless water heater is another option. This upgrade can save approximately 34% on your water heating bills by producing hot water on demand and getting rid of standby heat loss. Save energy and lower costs by replacing your hot water appliances with high-efficiency models, including your dishwasher and washing machine.
Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your source for reliable, affordable water heater services in North America. Our highly trained technicians can fulfill any water heater repair or replacement request that comes our way. We carry top products from today’s best brands, including conventional tanks as well as tankless models, to suit your needs while staying in budget. To get the full details, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you just had an icy cold shower or turned on the faucet to discover that your house doesn’t have hot water. It’s an irritating situation, but don’t fret. Learning the most likely things that leave you with no hot water is the first step... Continue reading
Tank water heaters are a dependable way to secure a fast supply of hot water for your home. The presence of a storage tank ensures some hot water is always available. But over time, foreign substances may accumulate within the storage tank. This might be sediment or mineral buildup originating... Continue reading
If you have a tankless water heater, then you know that it will run hot and cold on occasion. This is because tankless heaters are designed to run without any delays as they heat water. It’s not unusual for tankless heaters to be running on high one second and low the next. The problem is... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.