WATER HEATERS PROVIDE HOT WATER BEYOND THE COLD SEASON
For water heater installation, repair, service and replacement in Richmond, Virginia, Woodfin is the leading expert. We install gas water heaters, indirect water heaters, tankless water heaters and storage water heaters throughout the Richmond area.
The average water heater consumes 25 percent of every dollar spent on your home's energy use! Like most appliances, water heaters have improved greatly in recent years. Today's models are much more energy efficient. We can think about it this way - some vehicles get 17 miles to the gallon, while more efficient vehicles can go 30+ miles on a gallon of gas. They use fuel more efficiently. The same is true for some water heaters, they use energy more efficiently. Buy one of those and you'll spend less money each month to get the same amount of hot water.
The average life expectancy of a water heater is 13+ years. Tankless water heaters are estimated to last 25 years. That's how long you'll be living with the decision you make now. If you choose a water heater that saves you money, the savings will continue for years.
Storage Water Heaters
These are by far the most common type of water heater in the U.S. today. Ranging in size from 30 to 80 gallons (or larger) and heated by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil, storage water heaters transfer heat from a burner or coil to water in an insulated tank. Because heat is lost through the flue (except in electric models) and through the walls of the storage tank, energy is consumed even when no hot water is being used to keep the water in the tank hot.
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FOLLOW THESE HELPFUL TIPS TO CONSERVE FUEL & WATER WITH YOUR WATER HEATER.
- Upgrade to a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® qualified water heater.
- Wash clothes in the coolest water possible — 80 percent of the cost to run your washer is for heating the water.
- Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
- Choose a high-efficiency dishwasher — they use 25 percent less energy than conventional models.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° to 120°. You'll save 3 percent to 5 percent in water heating costs for each 10° reduction.
- Install water-conserving fixtures, such as showerheads and faucets.
- Fix leaky hot water faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons per month — more than a person uses in two weeks.
- Install a water heater blanket for greater heating efficiency.
Repair leaky faucets. They waste water and energy.
Conserve Water. Your biggest opportunity for savings is to use less hot water. In addition to saving energy (and money), cutting down on hot water use helps conserve dwindling water supplies, which in some parts of the country is a critical problem. A family of four each showering five minutes a day can use about 700 gallons per week — a three-year drinking water supply for one person! Water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators can cut hot water use in half. That family of four can save 14,000 gallons of water a year and the energy required to heat it.
Use cold water to operate your garbage disposal. Cold water use saves energy and is the recommendation of most disposal manufacturers.
When washing dishes by hand, use a sink stopper or dishpan so water — hot or cold — doesn't rush down the drain. Remember, too, that hot water running needlessly not only wastes water, but it wastes energy as well.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature. Keep your water heater thermostat set at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water. For most households, 120°F is fine (about midway between the "low" and "medium" setting). Each 10°F reduction in water temperature will generally save 3-5 percent on your water heating costs. When you are going away on vacation, you can turn the thermostat down to the lowest possible setting, or turn the water heater off altogether (unless freezing is possible) for additional savings. With a gas water heater, make sure you know how to relight the pilot if you're going to turn it off while away.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes will reduce losses as the hot water is flowing to your faucet and, more importantly, it will reduce standby losses when the tap is turned off and then back on within an hour or so. A great deal of energy and water is wasted waiting for the hot water to reach the tap. Even when pipes are insulated, the water in the pipes will eventually cool, but it stays warmer much longer than it would if the pipes weren't insulated.
Insulate your water heater. Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it's in an unheated area of your home. The blanket could save you up to 10 percent on water heating costs. (Some newer models are so well insulated that you don't need to wrap them. Check first to see if adding an insulating blanket to your water heater will affect the warranty.)