Efficient water heaters save money, water

(NewsUSA) – Among showers, laundry and dishwasher loads, the average American home consumes a lot of hot water. After heating and cooling costs, water heating has proven to be the largest part of most families’ utility bills.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters consume as much as 25 percent of a home’s energy supply. Of course, that means that improving water heating efficiency can drastically affect utility bills.

Consumers now face choices beyond traditional gas and electric water heaters. Water heaters come in different shapes and perform various functions. However, two types of heaters seem to perform most efficiently -; tankless and high-efficiency condensing water heaters.

How should you choose your new water heater? First, consider how much hot water you use. Do you run many hot water appliances simultaneously? Does your family use a large volume of water throughout the day?

Tankless water heaters best suit applications with periodic demand, like in apartments with one or two residents or in vacation homes. Using too many hot water appliances at the same time can overtax tankless water heaters. For example, running the clothes washer and the shower at the same time could use up all of the tankless unit’s hot water.

For families who require large volumes of hot water, high-efficiency storage-type models best meet household demands.

“High-efficiency models were designed for the homeowner who needs more hot water and wants to save money on their water heating bill in the process,” said David Chisholm, the water heater brand manager of A. O. Smith, makers of the Vertex high-efficiency model.

Here are two tips for Americans looking to save money on water heating bills:

– Lower your water heater temperature. Keeping the water temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit is usually sufficient for most households. Lowering the temperature 10 degrees F typically saves 3 to 5 percent on water heating bills.

– If you’re going on vacation, turn your water heater to the lowest possible setting or turn it off. If you choose to turn off a gas water heater, make sure that you know how to restart its pilot light.

For more information on water heaters, visit www.hotwater.com.

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