October is here and for many of us in Pocatello that means colder temperatures, snow covered yards, frosty windows, and riskier driving conditions. The colder temperatures of winter also have an effect on our utility bills. Paying attention to certain aspects of our home systems, like our household plumbing, can help us save money during these chilly months. More specifically, you can find a good amount of savings when you pay attention to your water heater. The expert plumbers at Barlows Aire Force One have compiled a list of tips and tricks on how you can cut back on your utility bill this winter by paying more attention to your hot water consumption.
Savings You Can Find in Your Household Plumbing
According to energy.gov, our hot water heaters typically count for the second largest expenditure of the average American’s utility or energy bill, following closely behind heat and air conditioning. Keep your utility or energy bill under control this winter by following these suggestions:
- This tip applies to all year long. The Federal Department of Energy recommends that we keep our thermostats on our water heaters set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures not only keep your utility bills under control, they can prevent scalding. When your water is heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit it can cause scalding in just five seconds. Fact: Did you know that scalds are the number one burn injury in children under four years of age?
Take Shorter Showers
When the temperatures outside our homes drop to below freezing, it can be tempting to spend more time soaking up the extra hot water from our showers. The water coming out of the faucet can travel through your household plumbing at an average of two gallons a minute. Spending more time in the shower equals more money spent on heating that extra water. Keep your shower short and bundle up in warm clothing and soft blankets for comfort instead. If you want to take comfort in hot water drink hot chocolate or hot tea to warm you up.
Insulate Your Water Heater
Consider insulating the tank of your water heater to help it preserve its warmth. Insulating the tank will help prevent the water from cooling down. When your water heater starts to cool down it is forced to do twice the work, spending twice the money. Keeping your water heater insulated can be particularly important if it is located in the basement or another area of your home that doesn’t get a lot of heat. Make sure that you follow manufacturer instructions when insulating your hot water heater. You don’t want to accidentally cover up the burner or the thermostat.
Get a Replacement
If your hot water heater is acting up or having issues running, you might want to invest in a new hot water heater. It can be more cost-effective to purchase a new one than spend twice, or three times that amount over the winter months because of insufficient heating. You can even invest in a hot water heater that is energy sufficient, costing you less to run over time due to the increased efficiency.
If your hot water heater is acting up contact the plumbers at Barlows Aire Force One in Pocatello. Our Pocatello plumbers can help you save time and money by inspecting your hot water heater. We can also help you with any plumbing issues such as broken pipes, overflowing toilet, and heating system issues this winter.