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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Your Water Heater This Winter

As the temperature outside begins to drop, the prospect of a hot shower at the end of a long day becomes even more appealing. A few simple tips can help you get the most out of your home’s water heater for comfortable living all winter long.

Adjust the Temperature
Water heaters have variable temperature settings, allowing homeowners to choose the temperature of their hot water. The higher the temperature setting, the more energy your water heater uses. The ideal temperature setting on your water heater is essentially a balance between your comfort level and the cost of using the appliance. Most water heaters come from the manufacturer set at 140 degrees, which is higher than the average home needs. In fact, water at the hottest setting on your appliance can easily scald in seconds. Set your water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid injury. This temperature should be sufficient for any household tasks, including comfortable bathing. If you are constantly turning up the temperature on your water heater but not getting the hot water you need, it’s time to call in a professional to check for problems. You can also turn down the heat on your water heater if you’ll be away from home for more than a few days. Set the dial to low or “vacation” mode to reduce the amount of energy used by your water heater and save money on your utility bill.

Use Low-Flow Fixtures
Low-flow showerheads and sink faucets can reduce your water usage by up to 60%. Using less water means using less hot water as well, which lowers the cost of running your water heater. Especially if your home is host to a large number of people, low-flow fixtures can stretch a possibly limited hot water supply farther, meaning everyone will be more comfortable. Even if your home utilizes a tankless water heater, reducing your hot water usage during the winter with low-flow fixtures puts less pressure on your system and still reduces the cost of obtaining hot water

Go Tankless
If your home has a tank water heater that is 10 years old or more, replacing it with a tankless water heater can help you save money and enjoy more hot water. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand rather than keeping a storage tank continually at the set temperature. In a home that uses 41 gallons of water a day or less, you can enjoy up to 34% in energy savings. Even if you use more than 41 gallons a day, you can still achieve savings of up to 14% due to increased efficiency. In order to maximize the savings you enjoy from your tankless water heater, take shorter showers and run appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines only when you can clean a full load of dishes or clothing.

Using your water heater wisely this winter will ensure your Omaha home has plenty of hot water while lowering the cost of your monthly utilities. If you’re having water heater problems or are ready to replace your current model, visit our website to find out how Aksarben/ARS can help. You can find more tips on water heater and HVAC maintenance for a comfortable home on our blog.

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