Have you been noticing that your gas or electric bill is high? The culprit may be your water heater. Check out some water heater mistakes you could be making your water heater less efficient.
1) Setting the temperature too high.
If your water heater is set too high, you will be paying the price in your energy bill each month. According to the EPA, although some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF, most households usually only require them to be set at 120ºF. Setting your temperature to 120ºF can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses (heat lost from water heater into surrounding basement area).
2) Your water heater might be too big or too small.
You shouldn’t be heating water you don’t even use. A water heater that’s too big could lead to higher-than-necessary energy bills. Here is an estimate of what size you need:
- For 1 to 2 people: 30-40 gallons
- For 2 to 3 people: 40-50 gallons
- For 3 to 4 people: 50-60 gallons
- For 5 or more people: 60-80 gallons
On the flip side, a water heater that is too small can lead to never having enough hot water, as well as a water heater that is overworked and requires more frequent repairs.
3) Your water heater might be too old.
Most water heaters last between ten and fifteen years. After that, their efficiency declines significantly and can lead to higher high energy bills. If you have a gas heater, the expectancy on those is six and eight years. You can learn about the age of your water heater by looking at the serial number, listed on the manufacturer’s sticker that can usually be found in the upper half of the tank. If a water heater is older than 10 years, it might be time for a replacement.
Other signs of a water heater that is too old and should be replaced include:
- Rusting, either on the tank or in the water
- Failure to heat water