Your faucets, showerheads and plumbing appliances use plenty of hot water. In fact, the Department of Energy says that water heating is the second-largest utility cost behind space heating and cooling, accounting for approximately 18% of your monthly bill. Find out more about how much energy the average water heater uses and helpful tips to reduce your water heating costs.
The total cost to run an electric water heater depends on the size of the unit, how much you use it, its power requirements and local costs for electricity. For example, 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 work per day, which approaches $35 each month or $426 per year.
If your water heater runs on natural gas, you must consider the size of the unit, how much you use it, its power draw and the price for natural gas. For example, 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 is roughly $18.60 per month or $226 annually.
As you can see from the examples above, gas water heaters usually cost less to operate than comparable electric models because natural gas prices have a tendency to run lower than electricity costs. Fine-tune the calculations with your exact energy usage and rates to get a more accurate picture of gas vs. electric water heater expenses.
Whether your water heater uses electricity or gas, you can lower your utility costs with these money-saving tips.
Keep in mind that every time you turn on a hot water tap, you have to 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 instance, one drip per second adds up to more than 1,600 gallons each year. Eliminate this waste by repairing plumbing leaks as soon as you discover 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 as much as 60% savings on water use. Look for 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 minimize the chance of scalding at the tap. Just don’t go any lower than 120 degrees to avoid microbial growth in the tank.
If your water heater doesn’t have 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 jacket correctly to avoid creating a dangerous operating situation. If you’re unsure how to proceed, ask a professional for help. Once the tank is insulated, add insulation around 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 nearing the end of its life span, think about replacing it with an ENERGY STAR-rated model. A tankless water heater is one such option. This upgrade can save approximately 34% on your water heating bills by generating hot water on demand and eliminating standby heat loss. Save even more 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 work with top products from today’s best brands, including traditional 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 probably because you just had a shockingly cold shower or turned on the faucet to discover that your house doesn’t have hot water. It’s an irritating state of affairs, but don’t stress. Learning the most frequent causes of 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 addition of a storage tank ensures some hot water is readily available. But over time, other substances can accumulate inside the storage tank. This could be sediment or mineral buildup coming from the... Continue reading
If you have a tankless water heater, then you know that it can run hot and cold on occasion. This is because tankless heating units are made 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.