Saving Energy – One Water Heater At a Time

Water heating accounts for roughly 20% energy consumed in a home. This figure may vary depending upon geographical location and daily usage of water. Overall for USA, It accounts for about 14% energy consumption.

With some simple steps, you should be able to cut down this expenditure by about 25%, meaning lowering the energy consumption of your house by about 4-5%.

Water heating is a task which results in medium to low efficiency use of electricity. Meaning considerable energy is wasted to perform a small amount of heating work. Using electricity is extremely efficient for some tasks like lighting. In a lamp like CFL, a lot of electricity actually gets converted to lighting. For performing water heating and such tasks, the electricity is not so efficient. For performing cooling tasks, the electricity is extremely inefficient. Thus if you reduce a small amount of your cooling need, you will save a lot of electricity.

Here are some things you can do.

  1. Make sure you set your water heater temperature to 120 F. Anything beyond that temperature will start creating burn marks on your skin. Even when you take shower, you cool down the water to 120 or less by mixing more cold water. So why at all heat water to more than 120 F?
  2. If you are going out for vacation, turn off the water heater. After you come back, it takes about couple of hours to start getting reasonably hot water. If your water heater is tankless, then the hot water is available almost immediately. There is really no need for your water heater to just sit there and keep heating water when nobody is around for a few days. You can save a lot of energy this way.
  3. Insulating the heater and pipes will take you a long way in cutting down costs. The difference between a properly insulated and jackated water heater and a non insulated one is the difference between coated thermos flask and your regular steel coffee cup. It’s a huge difference.
  4. Do you really need to wash your clothes with hot water? Will warm water do? Or how about cold water? If your clothes have big bad stains of grease then may be a different story. But for normal use clothes, the cold water will just do just fine. And your clothes will last longer. A normal washer cycle consumes about 30-40 galons of hot water. That is a huge burden on mother earth.

Apart from the one I wrote above, here are some very interesting links with lots of tips you can use to cut down that unnececssary money going into water (heating).

http://money.howstuffworks.com/how-to-clean-up-home-energy-consumption1.htm

Summary tips
1. Use sediment draining valve once in a while to drain the precipitated stuff.
2. Insulate the heater and pipes with blankets.
3. Use low-flow shower heads, thus using less water in general.

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13030
Summary tips.
1. Insulate, use less water etc.
2. Install drain water heat recovery system. Install heat traps

http://www.engext.ksu.edu/ees/henergy/lighting/water.html
Summary of tips
1. Select right water heater.
2. Some more interesting stuff.

http://www.toolbase.org/TechInventory/TechDetails.aspx?ContentDetailID=599
Summary of tips: They sell tankless water heaters. Worth a look.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Improve/HomeEnergyEfficient.html
More tips.
There is always something interesting on wikipedia. The linked article discusses water heaters in general, but it is very informative.
Just google search on water heater energy conservation and you will find lots of links with lots of tips. Try it. With a simple google search, you might be able to save about $100 per year, no kidding.

~ by Kedar on December 27, 2006.

One Response to “Saving Energy – One Water Heater At a Time”

  1. […] Saving Energy – One Water Heater At a Time […]

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