Water heating can account for 15%–25% of the energy consumed in your home. You can reduce your monthly water heating bills by selecting the appropriate water heater for your home and by using some energy efficient water heating strategies.
The Top Reasons to Insulate Your Water Pipes
- Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2ºF–4ºF, allowing for a lower water temperature setting. You won’t have to wait as long for hot water, which will help with your water bills, as well. So that’s two ways to save, with just one action.
- Insulating water pipes is easier than ever—you can even do it yourself. Pipe insulation sleeves are widely available. Simply measure the diameter of your pipes, buy the right size and amount, and slip them on.
Insulate all accessible hot water pipes, especially within 3 feet of the water heater. It’s also a good idea to insulate the cold water inlet pipes for the first 3 feet.
If you have a gas water heater, place your insulation at least six inches from the flue—you need to make sure the flue isn’t blocked.
Save Energy by Lowering Your Hot Water Temperature
Of course, the easiest way to save energy is to lower the temperature of your hot water heater and you don’t need a contractor to do that. A setting of about 120 F should be hot enough. You can save even more money by turning the temperature down further if you are planning to be away from home for a few days or longer. Why heat water you aren’t using?
Most modern water heaters don’t need to be wrapped in an insulation blanket—they’re already insulated. If you have an old water heater, consider asking your plumber to evaluate its efficiency—or better yet, get a whole house energy assessment, which will be free or very low cost from your utility, and may include some free pipe insulation, too!