If you want to save money on your water heating bill, there is a really easy way to do it — without cutting back on your usage or adding any expensive equipment.
Many homeowners think that by continuously investing in high-dollar items like new water tanks and other energy-efficient items, they can lower their water heating bills, but there’s an easier and cheaper way to do it.
You Can Save on Your Water Heating Bill Right Now
All you have to do is lower the thermostat on your hot water heater.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the recommended thermostat setting for your water heater is 120 degrees even though some manufacturers set it to 140 degrees. If it’s higher than 120 degrees, you may be paying $36-$61 more every year.
There are two ways to can check the temperature of the hot water in your home:
- Check the heater’s thermostat. Your water heater may have a thermostat on the outside, or you may have to access a control panel to see the dial inside the appliance.
- You can also check your home’s hot water temperature by running the hot water in one of your sinks for about a minute or so — until it’s really hot. Fill up a glass of water and put a thermometer in it to check the temperature.
If you find that your thermostat is set too high, lower it a bit to save on heating costs each month.
For every 10 degrees that you lower your water heater thermostat, you can save 3%-5% on your water heating costs, the agency says.
Of course, you may be wondering how well some of your major appliances will function if you turn your water heater’s temperature down.
Perhaps one of your main concerns is your dishwasher. The Department of Energy says not to worry about that particular appliance because many dishwashers have built-in heat boosters that reach 145 degrees — the necessary temperature to sterilize dishes and utensils. Sinks and tankless water heaters require only 105 degrees to clean your hands adequately.
Other Ways to Save At Home
You don’t have to buy expensive add-ons to lower your water heating bill. The Department of Energy says that you can enjoy water savings of 25% to 60% by purchasing low-flow fixtures! Here are two cheap accessories you can buy that money expert Clark Howard says can save you money on your water heating bill.
“I had a low-flow toilet put into my house,” Clark says. “I went from using 3.5 gallons/flush to 1.1 gallons/flush. Some toilets even have two buttons — one that delivers a 1.1 gallon/flush and another for 1.6 gallons/flush.”
Price: You can find low-flow toilets at places like Lowes for around $99.
Clark also recommends buying a low-flow showerhead. These work by blasting air to simulate a strong stream of water.
Price: You can find them for around $25 at Home Depot.
Have a tip of your own to share? Leave it in the comments section below!