The main reason for even having a water heater is to enjoy the luxury and comfort of hot water on demand. But what about the cost of using it annually? If you have an older model, especially an electric model that is over 15 years old, it can be costly to run. Don't run out and buy a new model just yet. Here are some ways to curb costs with water heaters and make them as energy efficient as possible.
Brand new hot water heater tanks have good insulating values and that's one reason why they promote energy efficiency. Touch the outside of your tank. Is it hot? If so, it's losing heat due to improper insulation. If your older model tank is in good working condition, there is no need to replace it.
Adding an insulating blanket can help reduce energy usage. These can be bought through a HVAC dealer, some big box stores, or your local utility company. Additional measures for efficiency include placing the tank on an insulating board for further insulating properties.
Install a Water Heater Timer
A water heater timer can help make an outdated water heater work more effectively. Most energy saving water tanks on the market only run for about 1.5 hours per day, this reduces gas and electrical usage. Installing a timer can force an older model tank to run and reheat water at those same time intervals. A timer helps prevent water from being reheated when not accessed, therefore saving money on utility bills.
Drain the Tank
Another way to make your tank work its best is to drain it every six months. There is an access drain at the bottom of the tank that can be released. The water slowly drains out sentiment and buildup that can make the tank run smoother and longer. This in turn can boost the functioning of the tank and curb energy costs.
Utility Company Incentive Programs
Some utility companies offer incentive programs to customers that help with cost savings. It could be in the form of a timer or smart hub thermostat that slows or stops usage on certain appliances and hot water tanks when you're not at home or during certain peak times. This is an additional way to save money and get the most out of an old hot water system.
Water heater services, annual inspections, and checkups are still recommended by an HVAC pro to make sure the tank and other components are working properly. But using one or multiple methods can help save money and add some extra years to that old hot water tank.