Heating water is where a lot of the money you pay the gas company goes toward. There are several steps that can be taken
to help control the cost of water heating.
The type of water heater used affects the heating costs. The efficiency
of the heater also affects the cost. The other things that will affect the cost are the temperature
setting and the number of gallons of hot water that are used. In 2003 gas
water heater costs accounted for about 34% of the average American gas bill.
Water heater efficiency is an important factor that affects operating costs.
The more efficient models can save money through lower operating costs.
The higher the temperature setting on the water heater
the more it will cost to operate.
There are several ways to help control water-heating costs. It is possible
to save as much as fifteen percent on water heating costs by lowering the setting
on the water heater thermostat. If you have an automatic dishwasher without
an internal heater, the owner's manual should be consulted for manufacturer-recommended
temperature settings. By using cool or cold water for clothes washing, it is possible to save another ten
percent off hot water costs. Bathing can account for more than half of a person
or family's hot water usage, taking shorter and cooler showers rather than baths
can help reduce the bill. Baths use as much as two and a half times
as much hot water as a five-minute shower. Leaky faucets
should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent hot water from being wasted.
One drop of water a second can waste 2,500 gallons per year, not to mention the
price if the leak is hot water. Another way to reduce water heating bills
is by running dishwashers only when they are full. Gas water heaters should
be turned to the "Pilot" setting when the family goes on vacation. Electric
water heaters should be shut off at the circuit breaker when you leave for vacation.
There are several products on the market nowadays to help conserve water.
Low-flow showerheads are one way to help reduce both your water and gas bill.
They help reduce how much hot water is used while showering, which lowers heating
costs, as well as reduce overall water use, lowering that bill as well. Flow
restrictors can be installed in faucets throughout the home which will reduce heating
costs even lower. Purchasing an energy-efficient water heater is an important
thing to do. Compare the operating costs as well as price when trying to find
the best model to meet your needs. In the long run, a slightly more expensive
unit can save you money compared to a cheaper, but less efficient model. Size is also important. There are steps in finding the proper
size for the needs of the family using it.
The first step is to determine the maximum use of hot water that may be used
in any one hour of a day. The size of the family, the appliances used in the household, and the patterns of water use
need be considered. The model should be chosen with a first-hour rating that
equals what the maximum hourly use was determined to be. In the US that rating
appears on a yellow and black EnergyGuide label that can be found
on all water heaters. This rating is how much hot water that water heater
can supply in one hour. Once the models with the proper first-hour rating
are found the EnergyGuide label can be used to estimate annual operating
Source: Pamphlet put out by The Gas Company "Water Heaters: Energy Savings
and Purchasing Tips"