Buy a new water heater with a thick, insulating shell; while it may cost more initially than one without insulation, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.
Radiant & Hydronic
Maintain your system periodically to yield immediate energy savings, improved comfort, and a longer trouble-free service for any system. This includes duct repair and replacement. Be sure to hire a professional technician to service your heating equipment. Qualified technicians can often identify safety and efficiency issues that aren’t immediately apparent. A professional can also teach you about the operation of your heating system and the role you can play in performing minor service tasks.
Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it’s best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.
When inspecting a new or potential new home, make sure that any of the gas equipment needing ventilation—heaters, dryers, hot water heaters—is ventilated properly to the outside.
Lower the thermostat on your new water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 115°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses.
Have your heating system cleaned and tuned by a qualified contractor. A pre-season tune-up and filter change is a good investment. It reduces the chances of breakdowns in the middle of winter, improves safety, and pays for itself through more energy efficient operation.
Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.
If you have a radiator in your home, be sure to “bleed out” trapped air in the system at least one to two times each year. Air trapped in the radiator blocks the flow of water and makes the system run inefficiently.
If you heat with electricity and live in a warm and sunny climate, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house.
Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.