While there’s lots of talk about energy-efficient water heaters that you can purchase, what if you have a storage tank water heater and a replacement isn’t a realistic option? This is the case for many homeowners, especially those who live in older homes. Here’s how you can still maximize the efficiency out of your storage tank water heater.
It’s All About Recovery Time
First, it’s helpful to understand how storage tank water heaters work. These appliances have one large water reservoir, and while they’re at-work they consume as many as 4,500 watts of energy. As hot water is used, it is replaced with cold water. Typically during the heating process, an upper and lower heating element are at work to heat up all of the water in the reservoir. The time it takes to heat the water is called recovery time.
How To Shorten Recovery Time
For those with storage tank water heaters, the only way to become more energy efficient is to shorten recovery time. Here are a few ways to get started and enjoy a lower energy bill.
Reducing shower times is one of the easiest ways to improve recovery time. Shower clocks or LED shower heads can help you keep tabs on when it’s time to step out. According to the Department of Energy, the average shower uses 10 gallons of shower – shortening this time will be good for your water bill and your electricity bill!
Low-Flow Shower Heads
Purchasing a low-flow shower head is another way homeowners can get more out of their storage tank water heaters, and it’s relatively inexpensive. The Department of Energy recommends shower heads that use no more than 2.5 gallons a minutes. Those with homes built before 1992 who have never changed their shower heads dramatically exceed the recommended amount.
Water Heater Thermostat
Adjusting your water heater thermostat is also a good way to limit recovery time. The Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your water heater properly maintenanced and leak-free will also keep your recovery time where it needs to be. You also may consider adding a timer to your water heater to only operate at times when you most need hot water.
By being more cognizant of limiting the recovery time if your water heater, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the benefits of energy conservation, even if you still own a storage tank water heater.
Guest post by: Gulf Coast Electric, based out of Dustin, Florida, offers professional electrical services throughout the Emerald Coast.