If you’re not quite ready to upgrade to a tankless hot water system in your home, check out these quick tips to improve the efficiency of your hot water tank and save money!
Every time you tune into any home improvement or house flipping show they’re always talking about the efficiency of going tankless (or on-demand) with your hot water supply. The science is pretty settled on this and given the chance we should all make that upgrade. Unfortunately, despite our desire or need to become more efficient with our energy use, not all of us are in a place to do it right now. Existing water supply lines, access to a natural gas and the large initial cost for the right-sized unit and professional installation all stand between some people and this optimal upgrade. Fortunately, there are things we can do right now with our existing setups to do our part in conserving energy for the environment and to save ourselves some money.
How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Hot Water Heater
1. Quick, easy and obvious tasks to get started:
- Add a tank blanket – hot water tanks heat up and store the hot water so it’s ready for you when you need it. Unfortunately, that water can cool down over a short period of time and require re-heating. Keep that water hotter, longer with a tank blanket by reducing radiant heat loss in the tank and
- Add insulation to pipes to prevent heat loss here as well.
2. Get to know your tank and use it smarter:
- Set an appropriate temperature level – 120° is considered ideal but most factory settings are higher so it’s a good idea to check your settings. (Important note: always disconnect the power on electric units before adjusting temperature)
- Lower the temperature even more or turn it off completely when going on a long vacation.
3. Make small sacrifices:
- Install a low-flow shower head – the biggest hot water hog – the hot shower – improve your shower’s efficiency with a low-flow shower head. As easy as changing a lightbulb.
- Time your showers – set a reasonable time limit to reduce the amount hot water use per shower.
4. Do your regular chores a little differently:
- Wash clothes cold – you can even use a detergent specifically designed for cold water washing.
- Don’t pre-wash dishes – most newer dishwashers and detergents are designed to remove that stuck on, burnt-on food residue (we’ve all seen the ads) so no need to waste hot water pre-washing, rinsing or soaking.
5. Go one step further and learn some new skills:
- Fix Leaky taps
- Drain the tank once year to prevent mineral build-up. Don’t know how? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
There you have it. Some quick, simple tasks and a little maintenance can go a long way to reducing the energy needed to heat the water in your home. It’s great for the environment and good for your wallet as well.
Do you have any tips to increase the efficiency or your hot water use? Let us know in the comments and we can add them to our list.
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- How to Clean a Fan
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.