Lower your energy bill by simply adjusting your water heater

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Something that the vast majority of us have in common is that we all would like to see our energy bills decrease every month instead of increase. Fortunately there are are a lot of things we can implement to help reduce our energy consumption while still keeping the same level of comfort.

The most common thing that comes to mind in regards to reducing energy usage is to upgrade your lighting technology. Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs will reduce your lighting energy consumption by about four times. And replacing compact fluorescent bulbs with LED light bulbs can further reduce the amount of energy consumption by about twice as much.

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Another common way to reduce energy costs is to lower your thermostat temperature in the winter time by a couple degrees and increase the temperature by a couple degrees in the summer time. According to energyhub.com, for each 1 degree you lower your thermostat in the winter time you will save roughly 3% on your monthly energy bill. You can even take this a step further by installing a smart learning thermostat that will save you even more on energy costs.

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But a place you probably don’t realize you could save on your energy bill is in the shower. I would bet that the vast majority of houses out there have their water heater set to a temperature that is too hot to use by itself for bathing. What we end up doing is using cold water to lower the water temperature to a temperature more suitable for bathing. Why are we spending money on the energy needed to heat water to an unusable temperature only to cool it off so we can use it?

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Luckily there is an easy solution to this. Simply lower the temperature on your existing water heater. My house uses an electric water heater so that is the example I will show you here. Adjusting the temperature on a gas water heater is actually easier to access. Before working on any electrical device you should always make sure the power is turned off to the device.

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You will need a flat head screwdriver and possibly a phillips head screwdriver. First remove both access panels on the electric water heater as well as any lose insulation behind the panels.

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As you can see here the temperature on my upper thermostat is set slightly higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52ºC) which is too hot for me.

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A more comfortable temperature to me is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49ºC). Simply use a flat head screwdriver to twist the thermostat to the appropriate temperature. You may have to adjust this a couple times over the course of a day or two to get a temperature more suitable to your needs.

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Replace any lose insulation, install the cover, and turn the electricity back on to the water heater. It really is that easy.

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I only mentioned three areas here to save on your energy costs. There are a ton of great ideas and strategies to implement to further save your money in the long run. If you have any great ways to save on energy costs please share them in the comments here. I’m sure we all have better things to spend our money on than reoccurring energy bills.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi the article on energy saving by reducing the thermostat by a couple of degrees in winter is written in stone, but what is the thought behind increasing it by a couple of degrees in summer?
    Cheers
    Tony

  2. Water Heaters are usually set at higher temperatures, because dishwashers require the higher temperature to clean and dissolve food particles. You can save even more money on your electrical bill by installing a water heater timer and setting the timer to turn off while you sleep or away from home during the day.
    A programmable thermostat to adjust the temp will you are away will save a lot of money.
    Both of these tips will pay for themselves in the first month.

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