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A 5-Step Guide for Increasing the Efficiency of Your Water Heater

A 5-Step Guide for Increasing the Efficiency of Your Water Heater

Did you realize that simply heating your water uses over 20% of the energy in your home? Almost every other domestic operation uses more energy than simply boiling the water (except for heating and cooling your whole home.) You’ll feel it even more if your water heater’s efficiency is subpar given the hefty prices.


Ineffective water heaters don’t function as well as they should, which increases your monthly costs. It’s a lose-lose circumstance that might get worse in the future. Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true methods to raise the effectiveness of your water heater. Here are five quick projects that will improve the efficiency of your water heater and help you save money!

Step 1: Drain The Water Heater Sediment

In the tank of your water heater, minerals like calcium and magnesium accumulate over time. These minerals eventually produce silt when they harden at the tank’s bottom. If sediment builds up in your tank, the system may have to work harder to heat the water. Over time, the additional work causes the tank to become under pressure, which leads to overheating and even ruptures. The best way to remove sediment from your water heater is to completely empty the tank and rinse it out with cold water at least once a year (up to three times if you have hard water).

By removing sediments, you may improve the efficiency of your heater and avoid more expensive repairs that may be required as a result of their development. If you have the correct tools, flushing your water heater is a fairly easy chore that you can complete on your own. As part of a bigger water heater repair call, you might alternatively employ a professional to complete it for you.

Step 2: Insulate water pipes

Heat dissipates easily, especially in your water tank and pipes. This is normal, but it also makes it difficult for your water heater to heat water as well as it might. You have to heat extra water to make up for the heat that is lost through your pipes. Your water heater uses more energy and runs longer and harder as you heat more water. This increases the amount of money you pay on your electric bill. Water pipe insulation improves efficiency and reduces heat loss.


Heat is kept confined inside the system where it belongs when you insulate your pipes. Insulated water pipes can even increase the temperature of the water by 2-4°F on their own. You can even contribute by insulating your cold water lines!

If you do a little homework, insulating your pipes and water heater is a fairly simple task. With some equipment, you already have at home, like scissors, a tape measure, duct tape, and gloves, just choose some insulation material, measure your pipes, and get started!

Step 3: Use low-flow fixtures

Another simple and time- and effort-free strategy to save money over the long run are to use low-flow plumbing fittings. Low-flow fixtures accomplish exactly what their name implies; they lower the water flow rate (in gallons per minute) to prevent as much of your valuable hot water from being wasted and flushed down the drain.


Consider switching to low-flow alternatives for shower heads, faucets, and even toilets to get the greatest energy savings by lowering water consumption by up to 50%. Even if you have someone in your home who is infamous for taking long, hot showers, they are slightly more expensive upfront but are well worth the savings in the long term!

Step 4: Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Every water heater comes equipped with a built-in thermostat, which many homeowners are unaware of. The amount of heat required to warm the water in the tank is indicated by this thermostat. Your system will operate longer and use more energy overall as it heats water to a higher temperature. Check your water heater’s thermostat setting if the hot water looks dangerously hot or heats up quickly. The thermostat for your water can be lowered to keep it safe while also saving you money.

The default temperature for water heaters is often set at 140 degrees by the manufacturer. In actuality, bathing or washing in water that is over 120 degrees is dangerous. Although experts will concur that any temperature below 120 degrees increases the likelihood that bacteria will grow in the settled tank water, make sure your water heater’s setting is never set below that. To manually reduce the temperature on your water heater at home and save 3-5% annually on your water bill, follow the instructions in this article.

Step 5: Fix plumbing leaks

It’s more common than you might imagine for pipes to leak. Additionally, they have a bigger impact on your house than you might think. 1,661 gallons of water are lost annually by even the smallest faucet leaks, costing you $35 in water bills. Your water heater is also impacted by all that wasted water. Your water heater has to work harder to produce as more hot water leaks out of your pipes. That implies that it is operating longer and consuming more energy. The most typical sign of a plumbing leak is a water heater that is always running to make up for lost hot water. So how can you spot leaks before they empty your wallet and water tank?

Your water heater’s leaks frequently begin on the device itself. Start by looking for any obvious leaks near the tank of your water heater. Particularly likely causes include the drain valve and temperature-pressure relief valve. The temperature-pressure relief valve can malfunction or it might leak to release pressure as it should. The water pipes themselves should also be examined, particularly those close to fixtures like sinks and showers. Keep in mind that no leak is “too minor” to be ignored. Call your neighborhood plumber for assistance if you require assistance with plumbing leak detection or repair.

Maintain your water heater routinely

When there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with your water heater, it’s simple to forget about it. We advise keeping your heater as efficient and well-maintained as possible even if there are no obvious leaks or problems. You’ll save money on your water bill right away, and it’ll also help your water heater last longer overall.


Make an appointment with the plumbing experts at BJC Clifton Plumbers right away if you want assistance making sure your water heater functions as it should or if you want to replace or repair it. We will always try to make your house as comfortable as possible while also finding ways to help you save money over time.