For showers and baths. For dishes. For laundry. Hot water is a necessity and, with an energy efficient water heater, it can be an affordable luxury as well. In most homes the hot water heater is used frequently and draws a high percentage of total energy use, so choosing an efficient natural gas water heater for your home can mean energy bill savings for years to come.
The Right Water Heater for You
The efficiency of your water heater will be determined primarily by what type of water heater you choose and, in some cases, its capacity. The most common water heater is the storage water heater. These heaters maintain a reserve of hot water that is ready when you are. Natural gas users can also take advantage of more efficient instantaneous water heaters, which heats water as you need it, thereby reducing standby energy loss.
For Best Results
Choosing the right size water heater for your needs will increase your home's energy efficiency. If your water heater was installed before 2004, you may also be able to boost its efficiency by adding an insulation jacket to your water heater. This will reduce the amount of heat lost through the walls of the tank and reduce the amount of energy you need to heat the water. Most newer models come with hefty insulation, so always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding insulation jackets. You can also boost your energy efficiency by adding extra insulation to your hot water pipes, which will reduce the amount of heat lost on the way to your faucet.
For additional energy savings, lower the temperature to the lowest setting that provides you with sufficient hot water. For many households, 120 degrees will be a reasonable setting. In addition to saving energy, you will also reduce the risk of scalding, a factor especially important in homes with small children. Also, install energy efficient flow shower heads and faucet aerators; these help conserve water and energy.
did you know?
Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 13% of your utility bill. Take a look at the U.S. Dept. of Energy Web site to learn more about boosting the energy efficiency of your water heater.