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A 5-Step Guide for Increasing Your Water Heater's Efficiency

A 5-Step Guide for Increasing Your Water Heater’s Efficiency

Did you realize that simply heating your water accounts for around 20% of your household’s energy use? More energy is used to heat water than practically any other household job (except for heating and cooling your whole home.) If your water heater’s efficiency is subpar, the hefty costs will be felt much more keenly.


You pay extra each month for inefficient water heaters since they don’t function as well as they should. It’s a lose-lose circumstance that could deteriorate over time. Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true techniques for raising your water heater’s effectiveness. Here are five quick projects that will improve your water heater’s performance and help you save money!

Step 1: Remove the sediment from the water heater

The tank of your water heater accumulates calcium and magnesium minerals over time. Sediment is eventually formed as these minerals harden and settle to the tank’s bottom. Your system may need to work harder to heat your water if sediment builds up in your tank. As a result of the additional labor, the tank’s pressure eventually builds up, which can lead to overheating or even ruptures. Water heater sediment can be readily removed by completely draining your tank and cleaning it out with cold water at least once a year (up to three times if you have hard water) for maximum effectiveness.

Removing sediments will make your heater operate much more effectively and stop the more expensive problems that may come from their buildup. If you have the necessary tools, you can perform the relatively straightforward task of flushing your water heater by yourself. Additionally, as part of a bigger water heater maintenance visit, you can engage a professional to complete it.

Step 2: Insulate water pipes

Particularly in your pipes and water tank, heat tends to evaporate quickly. Despite the fact that this is normal, it also keeps your water heater from heating as effectively as it could. You must heat more water to make up for any heat loss in your pipes by heating less water previously. Your water heater will work harder and longer and use more energy as you heat more water. As a result, your electric bill will cost higher. Water pipe insulation increases efficiency and aids in preventing heat loss.


By insulating your pipes, you keep heat where it belongs—inside the system. Water temperature can even be increased by 2-4°F by insulated water pipes on their own. Even insulate your cold water pipes for assistance!

If you do some homework, insulating your water heater and pipes should be a fairly simple task. Simply choose an insulation material, measure your pipes, and start by using common household items like scissors, tape measure, duct tape, and gloves.

Step 3: Utilize Low Flow Fixtures

Another simple strategy to save money over the long run without putting in a lot of time or effort is to use low-flow plumbing fixtures. Low-flow fixtures accomplish exactly what their name implies; they lower the water flow rate (in gallons per minute) to ensure that less of your priceless hot water is wasted.


For the most effective energy savings by lowering water consumption by up to 50%, consider replacing devices like shower heads, faucets, and even toilets with low-flow options. Even if you have a member of your home who is infamous for taking long, hot showers, they are well worth the initial investment due to the long-term savings!

Step 4: Set the water heater's temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit

Every water heater includes a built-in thermostat, which a lot of homeowners are unaware of. This thermostat provides instructions on how much energy is required to heat the water in the tank. The longer your system operates and the more energy it consumes overall, the hotter your system heats your water. You should check the thermostat setting on your water heater if the hot water seems dangerously hot or heats up quickly. Your water’s thermostat can be lowered to minimize your costs while maintaining the safety of your water.

The majority of manufacturers will set water heaters to their preset temperature of 140 degrees. Truth be told, bathing or washing in water that is hotter than 120 degrees is dangerous. Although experts will concur that anything below 120 degrees offers a risk for germs to grow in the settled tank water, make careful not to set your water heater temperature below that. This article will show you how to manually adjust the temperature on your water heater at home to cut your annual water bill by 3-5%.

Step 5: Repair Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks are more frequent than you would imagine. Additionally, they affect your house more than you might think. Even little faucet leaks cost you $35 per year in water costs and 1,661 gallons of water. Your water heater is impacted by all that wasted water as well. The more hot water that escapes via your pipes, the more energy your water heater must use. As a result, it must run longer and expend more energy. Your water heater running continuously because it needs to replenish lost hot water is the most typical sign of a plumbing leak. How then can you spot leaks before they empty your water tank and your bank account?

Your water heater frequently experiences leaks that begin there. If there are any obvious leaks, start by looking around the tank of your water heater. The drain valve and temperature-pressure relief valve are two particularly plausible causes. The temperature-pressure relief valve may have a leak or just be broken, releasing pressure as it should. In particular, in the vicinity of fixtures like sinks and showers, you should inspect the water pipes themselves. Never forget that no leak is “too little” to ignore. Call your neighborhood plumber for assistance if you need help repairing or identifying any plumbing leaks.

Maintain your water heater on a regular basis

It’s simple to overlook your water heater, especially when there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. Even if there are no apparent leaks or problems, it is still a good idea to keep your heater as effective and maintained as possible. It will help you save money on your water bill right away and also increase the lifespan of your water heater as a whole.


Schedule a service with the BJC Plumbers Jersey City plumbing professionals right away if you need assistance making sure your water heater functions as it should or if you’d want to replace or repair your water heater. We will always try our best to make your home comfortable for you and ultimately save you money.