Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be anything better than a hot shower to help us relax, clear our heads and clean up. But the satisfaction of a having a long, hot shower comes at an environmental and economic cost. Our water heaters – working hard to provide the warm H2O spraying from our shower heads – are energy hogs. The electricity wasted by hot water heaters can easily appear on your utility bills as money not well spent.
Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Many people keep their hot water heaters near 150 degrees, increasing your hot water bills by up to 15 percent in some cases. Sure, your water will be hotter, and maybe hot water will last a tad bit longer, but your hot water heater is also working harder. Is it really worth it? The average hot shower is 105 degrees anyway!
Making sure the pipes around your hot water heater are insulated will help keep it running efficiently. Insulating jackets for hot water tanks can also help contain heat loss and save you money.
For every 10 degree reduction in tank temperature, you can expect a 3-5 percent savings on your bill. Of course, if you plan to go on vacation or otherwise be away for three or more days, turn down the temperature of your hot water heater. Many tanks have a “vacation” setting. Otherwise, just turn it to the lowest temperature. Expecting anyone to take a hot shower in your home while you’re away? Probably not. So why pay to keep it hot?
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