Winter is Here!

For a lot of us, this not only means frigid temperatures, but also sky high utility bills. Most of us see our heating bill rise no matter what type of precautionary measures we take. This gives us all the more reason to look into potential savings in other areas of the house. If you are going to spend more on heating your home this winter, then how about saving money in the household plumbing department, and on your water heating bill? Here are some ways to learn how to cut back this winter.

Yes, water heating usually accounts for the second largest utility bill in most households, second to air conditioning and heat. However, there are still ways you can keep your bills from being unmanageable this winter.

  1. Maintain low water heater temperatures:  Although this tip does apply all year long, it is especially useful in the winter weather. According to the federal Department of Energy, they recommend keeping your water heater set at 120 degrees. Most units can go as high as 140 degrees but to help not only keep the bill down this winter, but also to avoid scalding shower burns dangerous to children and our elders, it is highly recommended to keep it at 120.
  2. Shorten your shower length:  After coming home from being outside in the chilly weather, we all want to remain in the warm, soothing, water of our showers. What we don’t do, is consider that the water runs through our plumbing pipes at about 2 gallons a minute. Although comforting, you are paying to keep all of that water heated up.
  3. Insulation on insulation:  If your tank is insulated, you can help it preserve the warm water instead of it cooling down and causing it to do double the amount of work. This is even more important if your heater is located where there is not a lot of heat maintained in that area of the house (i.e. your basement). Just be sure to follow the directions so you don’t accidentally cover up the thermostat or the burner.
  4. Consider the option of a new water heater:  Although it may initially be more expensive, you may actually save yourself money if you have a much older heater that is actually less efficient, and therefore causing you more money. A new unit could be key to help you save.
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