About 20% of the energy used in your home is for water heating. And depending on the number and ages of people living in your home, the percentage could be greater.
You may be able to save money by replacing your old water heater with a high-efficiency electric model. Older models can be very inefficient because of poor insulations, corrosion and less efficient design. A new electric water heater will have sufficient insulation (at least 1 inches of foam for an R-16 insulation value) and can be selected with the corrosion protection that matches the quality of the water in your area.
New electric water heaters come with a choice of linings. Both glass and stone linings are excellent choices, but if you have particularly hard water, a polybutylene tank may be your best option. Another option is a heat trap. A heat trap keeps heated water in the tank during non-use periods rather than letting it rise into the piping where it loses heat energy. A heat trap can increase water heating efficiency substantially. Contact the energy experts at Beltrami Electric for more information on your water heating needs.
Make sure your water heater is set at the lowest point. Try to set it at 120 degrees.
Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank. If your water heater is located in an unconditioned space, consider installing a thermal wrap around it. Take care to install it in accordance with the tank and wrap manufacturer's instructions.
Buy a new, more efficient model
Try washing clothes with warm water and rinsing with cold water.
Repair leaky faucets immediately so they don't drip and waste hot water.
Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless or “instant-on” waters heaters are a hot topic these days. These briefcase-sized tankless units only heat when the hot water tap is open. The water is heated very rapidly as it flows through a heat exchange coil. The concept seems to make a lot of sense. The heaters are small and take up less room than a conventional water heater. They also reduce standby losses that are common with old or poorly insulated tanks. The manufacturers of these units are making claims about big savings from energy efficiency, reduced standby loss, etc. Unfortunately, they neglect to tell you the “downside” of the product.
Beltrami Electric Cooperative wants to help you make the best decision for your home. If you’d like to discuss electric tankless water heaters, please call Bob Gregg at (800) 955-6083 or 444-3622. Bob Gregg is the energy conservation representative for Beltrami Electric Cooperative.