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Simple Steps - Water Heaters

The water heater is your second-largest energy user, and there are many ways to save by using hot water efficiently.

  • Be sure that you have an energy-efficient water heater. To check, read the label or call your local power company. Also place the water heater as close as possible to the area where you use hot water most.

  • Newer dishwashers have a preheating element, allowing you to set your water heater thermostat back to 110 degrees. Always turn off the circuit breaker before adjusting the thermostat on your water heater.

  • While shaving, don't run the hot water. Fill the basin and save up to six gallons of hot water in five minutes.

  • Insulate the pipes going into and out of the tank.

  • Drain a gallon of water once a year through the faucet at the bottom of the water heater to remove sediment that decreases energy efficiency.

  • Fix leaky faucets. They can waste up to 3,000 gallons of hot water a year.

  • Quick showers use less than one-half as much hot water as a bath. Flow-restricting shower heads can significantly reduce water usage.

  • Wash full loads of clothes in the coolest water possible. Always rinse in cold water.

  • Run the dishwasher only when it's full.

  • Turn the water heater off when you're away from home for more than a weekend.

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