Understanding Water Heater Efficiency

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Hot Water Heater

One of the great, simple joys in life

One of the great, simple joys in life is being able to take a warm shower.  Dishes, laundry, candle-lit baths.. whatever you’re using it for, hot water is an unsung essential for any household.

But it isn’t free.  Hot water is usually the second biggest energy expense in a home, often about 18% of a typical household’s electric bill.

A poorly performing water heater can cost you several times more, in addition to constantly running out of heated water!

At Transou’s Rooter and Plumbing, we hate seeing our neighbors waste money.  We’re going to give some tips to keep your hot water-efficient, cost-effective, and long-lasting.

Low-Flow Faucets and Faucet Aerators

These inexpensive feats of engineering are designed to reduce water consumption without sacrificing performance.  Your average showerhead uses over two gallons of water a minute. Low-Flow Faucets will reduce that water flow by up to 50%, and the aerators inside them will mix your faucet water with air to keep the pressure coming through strong.  Most people don’t even notice the difference, or even see an improved performance!

Best of all, they were cheap!  Most fit right on your existing taps and nozzles.  Ask Transou’s Rooter and Plumbing if you want help on picking out the right one!

Get Leaks Checked

Just like pennies eventually add up to thousands of dollars, that little leak in your shower faucet is wasting scads of water and energy.  And you’re paying for it.

If you see drips where they shouldn’t be, or you’re noticing a metallic taste to your water, and especially if you’re always running out of hot water early, call a professional plumber and have them do a maintenance check.  Transou’s Rooter and Plumbing can come out today, check all your equipment, and tackle those little leaks immediately! We can’t stress this enough: never skip out on calling a plumber for those little fixes. Your bank account and your showers will both feel better in the long run.

Take Short Showers

No one likes to hear this one, especially in the winter.  But standing under that nice, steaming hot shower head for half an hour isn’t going to feel as good when the bill arrives.  It’s not great for your skin moisture either, but that’s another industry.

Try limiting your shower time to around five minutes, and absolutely no longer than ten.  You can also try using cold or lukewarm water in the kitchen sink. And if you really, really want to save water, put a small bucket under your faucet while the hot water is starting to come through, and use that cold water for pets and plants.

Adjust Your Machine Settings

Most water heater manufacturers keep the default temperature in their machines at 140 degrees.  But the EPA recommends winding that thermostat down to about 120 for basic energy conservation, which can net you some quick and easy savings.

Be sure to check the settings on all your cleaning appliances.  With your dishwasher, make sure you clean it regularly so nothing is blocking the filters.  Run full loads, and be picky about when (or if) you run them on the heaviest setting. We like running our’s when we have time to let the dishes air dry.  That heat-drying mechanism is a wonder, but it’s a lot of power that doesn’t need to get spent if your clean dishes are going to stand on the rack overnight.

With your laundry machines, in addition to keeping the filters clean, you might also try using the cold water settings and seeing how much money that saves you.

Tankless Water Heaters

Most water heaters you’ll find in homes come in a huge barrel-shaped drum.  The fact is that keeping a tub of water like that heated takes a lot of electricity, and over time they wear out.  If you’ve had a barrel water heater for longer than 15 years, it might be time to get a new unit.

Consider investing in a tankless water heater.  These things are about the size of a CPU and work by pulling and heating about 4 gallons of water as needed.  The energy costs, as well as the longevity and extra space you’ll have, might be worth the price. Call Transou’s Rooter and Plumbing, and we’ll give you some solid advice on whether you need a new unit, and if tankless is right for your home or business.

No matter what water heater you have, Transou’s Rooter and Plumbing is happy to maintain and repair it, or install a new one for you.  So if you live in the Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro Area, and your water bill is outrageous, or you can’t fill a bathtub without your hot water turning ice-cold, give us a call today and let us help!

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Did you know

Sinks, tubs, and toilets that are continually backing up may be due to more than just a clogged pipe. The problem could be caused by a cracked drainpipe in your home or yard.