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5 Ways You May Be Able to Minimize Your West Texas Water Heating Bills

Whether you're showering off the West Texas summer dust, warming up on a cool winter night, or just running a load of dishes through the dishwasher, water from your home's water heater plays a central role in your day-to-day comfort. But it also plays a central role in your energy bills. A water heater can account for about 20 percent of the total energy cost of your home. Finding ways to reduce water heating bills can improve your financial health and happiness. 

Turn Down the Tank's Thermostat

Just like anything that's significantly warmer or cooler than the air around it, the water heater tank wants to equalize its temperature with its surrounding environment. The more heat you put into it, the more heat it will lose – and the faster the rate of cooling. For every 10 degrees you turn the water heater down, you can reduce water heating bills in your home by 3 to 5 percent.

You can also reduce the risk of scalding,while still keeping the temperature high enough for household needs by setting the water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.

Upgrade Water Infrastructure

The more hot water you use, the more cool water comes into the water heater to be heated and the more heating you ultimately have to do. If you upgrade to low-flow faucets and shower heads, and replace any old, inefficient appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines,  with newer, more-efficient versions, you'll save water overall.

Many homeowners are concerned about sacrificing home comfort by switching to low-flow faucets and shower heads. Fortunately, many manufacturers produce aerating shower heads which form the water stream in such a way that the reduced flow rate isn't noticeable. Ask a plumbing specialist what brands they would recommend.

Drain Sediment From the Tank

Tank water heaters build up sediment as time goes on, because the incoming water isn't perfectly pure. This sediment gathers at the bottom of the tank and prevents the heating element from heating as efficiently as it could. Just draining the sediment from the tank can help you reduce water heating bills, and it's generally easy to do.

To drain the sediment, turn off the water and power to the water heater. (Consult the owner's manual if you're not sure how.) Connect a hose to the bottom spigot, and drain about a quart of water into the floor drain. Since sediment naturally sinks in water, this should clear most of it out. For optimal results, drain a quart of water from your tank every three months or so.

Insulate Piping

Like water heater tanks, pipes want to match the temperature of the surrounding air. This means that as hot water travels through them, some of the heat will be lost through the pipe walls, causing you to use more hot water, and thus more energy. By insulating the pipes, you can reduce water heating bills by making sure not as much heat is lost.

Insulate the Tank of the Water Heater

A tank water heater keeps a reserve of water hot for whenever you need it. You can see the effect of this when someone in your household uses all the hot water with a big load of laundry right when you want to take a hot bath, for example. But because the tank is constantly shedding heat, it's constantly having to replace it.

Insulating the water heater tank will reduce water heating bills in much the same way that insulating your pipes will, though while pipe insulation slows heat loss while the water is being used, tank insulation will keep you covered when the water is in the tank. Together, they – and all these tips – can take a bite out of your expenses.

To learn more about how to reduce water heating bills in your West Texas home, find a contractor today through Texas Air Comfort!


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