Reducing usage of Hot Water Heaters

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Mia
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Reducing usage of Hot Water Heaters

Postby Mia » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:43 am

We have two hot water heaters. From what I've read we should set the temps at 115-120

BUT, our two water heaters only have settings of warm, hot, and very hot. Does anyone know what temps those settings cover?

I'm also looking for ideas on reducing usage of hot water - any ideas? One of our heaters heats the air in two rooms, plus sink/shower water. The other serves sink/shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer (no air heating).

Your thoughts are appreciated!

Mia

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Hot water reduction

Postby moneyhoney » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:27 pm

Try googling the manufacturer and model of you current hot water heaters to see what those temp settings mean. Yes, 115-120 degrees is best--not only in terms of efficiency, but any hotter and someone could easily be scalded by too-hot water coming out of the faucet or shower.

Here are some ideas for reducing your hot water use:

1. Shorter showers and/or shut off water when soaping up.

2. Dishwasher--run only when full of dirty dishes. Use dishwasher's most economical setting. Rinse (or soak) dishes/utensils before washing in dishwasher.

3. Clothes washer--again, only run when washer is full--partial loads waste hot water. Wash warm or cold and rinse cold.

4. Turn the thermostat down when it's cold. Last winter I had the thermostat on 60 while I was there, mid-fifties when I was out. (I have a drafty house which I am currently spending $$ on fixing!) I turned the thermostat up to 65 if I had company over (aren't I a good hostess!) Do what you can to plug up drafts, add insulation, caulk windows--even that shrinkwrap they sell to put over your windows in the winter helps.

5. Proper hot water heater maintenance: drain to get rid of sediment at least once a year (if you don't know how to do this, I'd highly recommend looking up instructions on the internet, or better yet, have someone who knows how to do this show you). This will greatly extend the life of your heaters and improve efficiency.

Hope this helps :D

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Mia
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Postby Mia » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:54 am

Thanks for those tips Moneyhoney. Good idea to Google the manufacturer. I think I'll have someone come out to service them, too; then my husband can see how it is that the sediment is drained.

I don't know if I can stand 60 degress, LOL. Brrrrrr... But I know when it's drafty a lot of heat is lost. We installed 8 new windows last year, but still have 8 more to go (so expensive!). We did caulk all around those, inside & out, and I think they'll last a few more years.

Does anyone know anything about those little water heaters you put under the sinks? I don't know what they're called. Do they help with energy savings?

Thanks again!

brad
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Postby brad » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:15 am

Mia wrote:Does anyone know anything about those little water heaters you put under the sinks? I don't know what they're called. Do they help with energy savings?


Those are called "instantaneous water heaters" and they do save a lot but can be expensive to purchase and install (which eats into your savings). Worth researching, though, to see if they would work for you. A water heater keeps water hot 24/7 just so you can have hot water during the few times per day you need it, whereas these units heat the water only when you need it.

If it's really sunny where you live you could install a solar hot-water heater (very expensive up front but over its lifetime it can save you money); this should reduce your gas bill dramatically even if it doesn't provide all your hot water...it can preheat it and then you need a lot less gas to get it up to the temperature you want.

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Mia
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Postby Mia » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:29 am

Thanks Brad. It is very sunny where we live, so I'll definitely check into the solar heaters when the time comes to get a new one. (just added that to my home notes).

It takes a long time for the hot water to reach the back bathroom which is why I was wondering about the "instantaneous water heaters". My husband keeps saying he wants to do something about it. Now that I know the name (thanks!) I'll check to see if it's something financially manageable for us or not.

Mia

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tinyhands
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Postby tinyhands » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:18 pm

See also: "Tankless water heater"
Read my 'fiscal fitness' financial disclosures <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=176">here</a>.

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Postby Fishonland » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:02 pm

I also recommend a solar water heater. I have passive system and it holds 30 gallons on top of the roof. In addition you can have tax write off of 30% for the heater

[/url]http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=Products.pr_tax_credits#s4

With the solar heater, for a family of 4, in the summer, I pay about $25 a month for Gas. Recommend you wash dishes / laundry / bath during sunlight hours.


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