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Water Heating

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 14% of your utility bill.

There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, and buy a new, more efficient water heater. A family of four, each showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person. You can cut that amount in half simply by using low-flow showerheads and faucets.

Water Heating Tips

• Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period.

• Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.

• Insulate your gas or oil hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the water heater's floor, top, thermostat, or burner compartment; when in doubt, get professional help.

• Install aerators in faucets and low-flow showerheads.

• Buy a new water heater with a thick, insulating shell; while it may cost more initially than one without insulation, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.

• Although most water heaters last 10–15 years, it's best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.

• Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 115°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses.

wtrheater-lo                     Water Heater
             Insulate your water heater
             to save energy and money.

 • Drain a quart of water from your water  tank every 3 months to remove sediment  that impedes heat transfer and lowers the  efficiency of your heater. The type of water  tank you have determines the steps to take,  so follow the manufacturer's advice.

 • If you heat with electricity and live in a  warm and sunny climate, consider installing  a solar water heater. The solar units are  environmentally friendly and can now be  installed on your roof to blend with the  architecture of your house.

 • Take more showers than baths. Bathing  uses the most hot water in the average  household. You use 15–25 gallons of hot  water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons  during a 5-minute shower.

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

Solar Water Heaters

If you heat with electricity and you have an unshaded, south-facing location (such as a roof) on your property, consider installing a solar water heater. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water heating systems and over 94% of these customers consider the systems a good investment. Solar water heating systems are also good for the environment. Solar water heaters avoid the harmful greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production. During a 20 year period, one solar water heater can avoid over 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

When shopping for a solar water heater, watch for systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).



     Hot Water Usage
     (based on national averages)

 The typical U.S. homeowners' water  consumption by place of use.

 

 


For more information on how you can save money on your water heating bill, contact:

American Solar Energy Society (ASES),
(303) 443-3130

ENERGY STAR®,
(888) STAR-YES (782-7937)

Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC),
(407) 638-1010

Owens Corning Customer Service Hotline,
(800) GET-PINK (438-7465)

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA),
(202) 383-2600

Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC),
(407) 638-1537

U.S. Department of Energy's
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC),
(800) DOE-EREC (363-3732), and Network (EREN).

   

Introduction • Home's Energy UseInsulation & Weatherization
Heating & Cooling • Water HeatingWindows • Landscaping
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