It would be difficult to exist without electricity. We’ve come to depend on it to light our homes, cook our food and even to charge our electronic devices. It’s essential, but it can be expensive. In a previous blog, I talked about a couple ways to reduce your electricity consumption. Today, I want to take that another step forward.
The one item in most homes that constantly consumes a lot of electricity is the water heater. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that a water heater timer can save you money, but how much money? If you realize that your electric water heater is 15% of your total electric bill, you can soon calculate the savings by cutting back on the power consumption of that one device.
A typical electric timer from Intermatic or Tork will cost you about $50.00. If you install it yourself, you can start saving right away and you will likely recoup your expense in a couple months. There are two times in most homes that water consumption reaches its peak. That is in the morning and in the late afternoon to mid-evening.
In my house, I decided there was no reason to heat water at 2:00 am. So, I set my water heater to turn off at 8:00 pm and to come back on at 5:30 am. It goes off again at 10:00 am and comes back on at 3:00 pm.
If the water isn’t being used throughout the day, it will stay hot most of the day. If you find that you need more hot water, you can manually turn the heater back on, or you can change your timer settings.
My heater is off 14.5 hours a day. I only pay to heat my water for 9.5 hours a day. Newer water heaters have great insulation jackets built in, but if you have an older model, an insulation jacket may be picked up at most hardware stores. It also pays to insulate the pipes for at least the first 15 feet from the unit. If you can go further, it’s better even better.
You can also change your water heater to a tank-less water heater. There are positive and negative sides to a tank-less system. Make sure you do your research related to the costs of equipment, installation expenses and estimated savings per year. How long will it take you to recover your investment and then begin monthly saving? A water heater timer will return your investment in a few months or less. For most of us, this is the fastest and least expensive way to save on hot water.