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Save Money on Electric Bills by Making These Two Adjustments to Your Water Heater

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The electric bill is possibly the biggest utility expense in your home. Although trading your incandescent bulbs for CFLs and using your HVAC system less can help reduce energy usage, making a couple of simple changes to your water heater can too. Here are two you should try.

Turn Down the Temperature

Quite possibly the easiest thing you can do to save energy is lower the temperature on your water heater. Most modern water heaters are set to 140 degrees when they leave the factory, and many people don't think to change it after the appliance is installed. However, lowering the temperature to 120 degrees can reduce your energy bill by up to 22 percent annually.

Reducing the temperature can save you money in other ways too. Heat causes water to precipitate in the tank which, in turn, draws out minerals such as calcium carbonate. These mineral build up in the tank over time, causing innumerable problems, such as overheating and blockages. The higher the temperature, the faster this process occurs. Reducing the temperature to 120 degrees can slow mineral buildup, help you avoid costly repair bills, and extend the life of your water heater. However, you will still want to flush the tank out on a yearly basis to get rid of this harmful sediment.

Install a Water Heater Timer

A second thing you can do to reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses is install a timer. Contrary to what some people think, the water in the tank doesn't stay hot all day. It gradually loses heat and the water heater has to cycle on and off continuously to keep it at the set temperature. This can use up a lot of energy.

There's no need for your water heater to be on all the time, especially if you are gone a good portion of the day. Even if you work from home, there are large swatches of time when you don't use the hot water in your house. Using a timer, you can set the water heater to only turn on when you need it. This will not only shave off quite a few dollars from your energy bill, but it will also reduce the wear and tear on your machine.

For more tips on saving money on your energy bill or help repairing your water heater, contact a professional like those at Eliminator Plumbing