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Many people would consider a hot bath or a hot shower to be a necessary luxury. It’s definitely one of the best ways to unwind after a long and stressful day. In order to be able to enjoy this, you need one thing — a working hot water heater. You only know how important the hot water heater is when it’s broken or malfunctioning and you need to call a plumber.
Surprisingly, Americans spend quite a lot of money each year to make sure that they have access to the hot water that they need when they need it. They’ll call a plumber whenever there’s anything wrong and spend a fortune on plumbing services whenever their heater fails. In fact, a lot of their household’s total annual energy usage actually goes towards the water heater. An inefficient water heater can cost a household hundreds of extra dollars every year.
If you want to continue enjoying hot baths and showers, but would like to be able to spend less money, one thing is for certain. You’re going to need to find a way to make your water heater more efficient. Here’s some recommendations from our professionals in Arlington, TX.
Insulation Prevents Heat Loss
By now, you’ve probably realized that almost everything in your home needs to be insulated. You have insulation in your attic, your walls, your ceilings and more. Anything that is not insulated will not be shielded from external elements. That means that it’s exposed to the outside air and can lose a lot of heat.
Your Water Heater Is No Exception
Surprisingly, many homeowners don’t actually insulate their water heater. This is probably because they don’t even realize that this is a necessity. Insulating your water heating is one of the easiest ways of improving its overall efficiency. In fact, you can enjoy savings of 7% to 16% annually just by properly insulating the heater.
Fortunately, insulating the water heater is quite easy. You can try to do the job yourself or you can call a plumber. A plumber will likely do a slightly better job. If you want to attempt insulating the water heater by yourself, all you have to do is to wrap insulation around the equipment. Most people will call a plumber to do this because there are always some risks when you’re working around a water heater. Once you or your plumber is done, you should start to see the savings almost immediately.
Water Heater Blankets
In addition to insulation, you can also buy a water heater blanket. These blankets really work and can add additional insulation, especially if you live in cold climates. All you have to do is to wrap the blanket around the heater and secure it in place. If you’re not sure whether you’re buying a quality blanket, ask your plumber.
When you’re looking for a water heater blanket, you’ll likely run into the term R-value quite often. The R-value measures how efficient the insulation is. The higher the R-value, the more insulation the blanket will be able to provide.
You should look for a blanket with a R-value of at least 8. If you’re looking for the best of the best, then look for a water heater blanket with a R-value of 11. If you install this blanket properly, it can retain up to 96% of the heat that would have otherwise been lost.
Conserve Energy With On-Demand Circulators
Another cool thing that you can do is to get your plumber to install an on-demand circulator underneath your taps and your sinks. This is one of the most commonly suggested solutions by plumbers for those who are on a budget. Although the cost of this type of installation is quite low, the results are quite effective.
You want to begin installing on demand circulators underneath the taps and the sinks that are furthest from the water heater first. The circulator will collect hot water from these areas and bring them back to the hot water tank whenever they are not needed. By doing so, the circulators are able to conserve energy, as the hot water heater will not have to turn on as frequently since the temperature inside the hot water tank is preserved.
Another benefit of the circulators is that they return all of the water back to the Tank. This means that they prevent water from pooling in weird areas. If you live in a very cold climate, you’ll know just how damaging poured water can be. If the water freezes in the winter, it could potentially damage your plumbing. At which point, you’re going to need to call a plumber and spend more money on repairs.
Another way to avoid needing a circulator is to have a plumber come up with a compact plumbing design for your home. This means that any of the fixtures or appliances that use hot water will be grouped closer together by the hot water heater. This allows the plumbing to be shorter, so less heat is lost.
Save Energy With Solar Power
Another way that you can save energy is with solar power. This is a very common solution; however, it definitely works. If you have some extra spending money and would like to lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint, look into this option.
Solar power is quite expensive to install initially. You also have to hook up the solar power with the water heater, so you’re going to need the expertise of both a solar power expert and a plumber. The cost of having this experience can be rather high as well. However, once you have everything set up, you’re good to go. Solar power has very low operating costs. It also requires very little maintenance. You’ll notice the savings rack up fairly quickly. The solar power would not only go towards heating up the water heater.
With that said, solar power is not suitable for all homes. You’ll need to consult with both a solar power expert and a plumber. Solar panels are only effective if they are installed in areas where they are going to be receiving a lot of sunlight throughout the entire year. Your plumber will need to make sure that the panels can be seamlessly integrated into the overall plumbing.
When you need hot water, you likely need to wait for a couple minutes for the system to warm up. A quick solution is to upgrade your hot water heater tank to a tankless one. Tankless water heaters will replace existing water heaters that are installed in furnace rooms in the basement. These heaters generate warm water almost instantly by relying on high-powered gas burners and electric coils.
It’s important to note that this type of water heater will require more power. However, the water in your home does not need to be reheated time and time again. Due to this reason, tankless water heaters actually conserve energy.
Tankless water heaters come with a lot of benefits. For one, they’re extremely durable and have a long life expectancy. You won’t need to call a plumber to replace any of the parts within the next couple of years. Second, you also get an endless supply of hot water. You’ll never need to take a cold shower or a cold bath again. Third, these heaters save space. They’re also more eco-friendly in comparison to traditional options in Arlington, TX.
Insulate The Plumbing
On top of insulating the water heater, you should also consider the option of insulating the plumbing as well. If the plumbing is not properly insulated, the hot water travelling down the pipes will cool down by the time that they reach the destination. Although this may not mean that you lose money heating up the water time and time again, it may mean that you’re spending money on heating up the water to a higher temperature than necessary.
One of the easiest solutions for this is to insulate the plumbing. However, depending on how much of the plumbing is already insulated, this might not be an easy task. Your plumber might need to spend a long time insulating different sections of your home.
Insulating your plumber is not something that you should do in the spur of the moment. You really need to talk with your plumber about the pros and cons that come with attempting such a large task. You also need to discuss the type of insulation that might be best suited for your home. While there is rigid insulation, there are also some more flexible options, like foam.
Get The Tank Cleaned Regularly
Although you may not realize it, your hot water tank needs to be cleaned regularly. Because this appliance contains a lot of potential energy and heat, you should not attempt cleaning by yourself. Instead, call a plumber in Arlington, TX to get the job done right.
You definitely want to get the hot water heater tank cleaned if you live in an area with a lot of hard water. Hard water is water that contains a lot of minerals naturally. It’s hard on your skin and appliances, and can take a huge toll on your water heater.
The minerals in the hard water can impact the efficiency of your water heater. These minerals crystallize and settle to the bottom of the tank, causing the heater to be less and less efficient. The sediment makes it difficult for the water heater to heat up the water, so more energy is used to get the process going.
You should check out the manufacturer’s instructions to see how often you should get the water heater drained. In general, most manufacturers recommend that you get the water heater drained every 2 to 3 years.
Get A Volt Timer
If the water heater is heating up energy throughout the entire day, you’ll be wasting a lot of energy. In these situations, you might want to install a volt timer. The volt timer will essentially turn off the water heater at the end of the night in order to conserve energy. You can set the time when the heater turns off based on your preferences.
So, if you work in the day and come home at night, you can set the volt timer to turn off the heater in the morning while you’re gone, but to heat up the water inside at a specific time at night. This can help you save quite a bit of energy. Best of all, volt timers are ridiculously easy to use. Some of these timers even have some type of remote control access, and you can change the settings from your phone. They’re really easy to use!
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth for More Information
If you need any type of plumbing services in Arlington, TX, you’re in the right place. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has serviced many areas in Texas for decades. Their licensed and insured plumbers are able to assess the condition of the plumbing and plumbing appliances in your home to see whether there are any inefficiencies anywhere. They can help you improve the overall plumbing setup in your home.
With the tips mentioned above, you can improve the overall efficiency of your hot water heater with ease. If you’re not sure which tips will work best for you, give one of the experts a call at 817-478-4119 or send them a message online. They’ll get back to you as soon as possible with several recommendations. They might even be able to help you figure out why your water heater tank has become inefficient in the first place.
Once you’ve learned how to improve the efficiency of the water heater, you might want to consider setting your sights on each plumbing appliance in your home one by one. Slowly improve the overall efficiency of each of the appliances, and you’ll notice that your energy bills will become a lot more affordable.