Most people don’t think of hot water as a system, to them it’s just a tank. They can adjust the temperature of the water, maybe they run out of hot water sometimes, maybe they don’t, and that is all there is to it. But if you think about hot water a little bit differently, you can save money and enjoy some additional conveniences.
• First thing’s first, your hot water tank might not be running as efficiently as it could be. Proper airflow, piping, and location can impact effectiveness and your utility bill.
• Making sure the inside of your tank is clean and free of sediment can improve efficiency and increase the life of your tank.
• The temperature setting can make a difference as well. The hotter the tank is set to, the more energy it will use.
• Many people don’t realize it, but the size of your hot water tank can impact your monthly bill. If your tank is larger than you need it to be, then it may be keeping too much water hot and costing you more.
• But if your tank is too small for your needs then it will always be working hard trying to keep up and that uses more energy too.
• And of course if your tank is very old it may not incorporate newer energy saving technology as well.
Not only are re-circulating systems more convenient, they save money too. They involve installing a small re-circulation pump and a return line to your hot water tank system. The pump keeps the hot water in the pipes of your house moving, even in homes with multiple floors. So when you go to use hot water in your home it is almost instantly available, you do not need to let the water run to heat up. This gives you almost instant hot water, which can be very handy, especially in the winter.
Hot water circulating systems use a little bit more energy but they can save money overall through a combination of factors. Your water tank doesn’t have to work as hard taking in lots of cold water while pushing hot water through cold pipes to reach you. The big one is that this system can save a lot of water, especially in cold months (this can be really important for homes with a well). Letting the water run for a minute or two to warm up every time can add up faster than you realize. So adding one of these systems usually produces an overall cost savings.
The ultimate in unlimited hot water is a tankless heater. These systems involve a heater that is in line with the pipe. When you turn on the hot water the heater turns on and heats the water as it passes through. These heaters cost a little more up front but they can save a lot of money in the long run. Interestingly, the people who benefit the most from tankless heaters are people who don’t use a lot of hot water.
A hot water tank is always on, keeping water hot, even if you don’t use the water. Tankless heaters only heat the water when you use it. So one of these heaters can help you save energy costs by not heating water you don’t use. Unlimited hot water is a nice perk as well. You get the cost benefit of a small rarely used tank and the available water supply benefits of a large heavy duty tank.
If you want to lower your energy costs, looking at your hot water system can be a great place to start.