Hot Water Efficiency

Would you like to increase your domestic hot water efficiency and either reduce or eliminate the money spent on operating your water heater? Of course you do....who doesn't want to save money?

Heating domestic hot water can account for nearly 20 percent of your monthly energy bill. That's a pretty significant amount of money spent every month just to produce hot water.

Ok...here's the problem. A water heater is an item usually found in the basement, tucked away and out of sight. It's rarely thought about until you need to take a hot bath or wash some dishes.

Most households have an old, inefficient water heater that should have been replaced years ago. But, that old water heater still produces hot water for your house so why change it right?

If you have a water heater that's more than 15 years old you might want to consider replacing it with a modern more efficient one. It's easy to fall into the trap of "Don't fix it if it's not broken." Meaning if it still produces hot water and it's not leaking don't replace it.

You work hard for your money, don't just give it away to the gas or electric company. Here are a few ideas, products and tips to help reduce the money you spend every month on hot water.

Heat Exchangers

If you heat your home with an outdoor wood furnace you can effectively heat your domestic hot water at the same time. Heating hot water with an outdoor wood furnace can be done by pumping the hot water from the wood furnace though a heat exchanger which heats your domestic hot water.

Heat exchangers come in two basic models. A sidearm heat exchanger which is a long, tube shaped bar that mounts along the outside of the water heater, and a plate heat exchanger.

Is your sidearm heat exchanger not working?  Here are a few tips and suggestions to help fix it.

Insulation

Insulation can be used to help reduce amount of heat loss that occurs in the pipes and water heater. A water heater blanket can be used to wrap the tank creating an extra layer of insulation around the tank, reducing heat loss.

You can also use foam pipe insulation to wrap the hot and cold water pipes to help increase efficiency even more!

Use Less Water

The average person uses around 20-25 gallons of hot water per day. Each household is different but let's say the average family of four uses 100 gallons of hot water per day.

One way to reduce the amount of money spent on heating hot water is to actually decrease the amount of hot water we use every day. Installing low-flow fixtures can help reduce the amount of hot water you use, reducing your energy costs.

Energy Star appliances can also dramatically reduce the amount of water you use and they cost less to operate compared to an old inefficient model.

Overall - Hot Water Efficiency 

Improving hot water efficiency can be done in many ways. Depending on your homes design, heating configuration and overall hot water needs, choose a method that works well for you and saves money in the process.


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