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Water Heater – Turn Down Or Turn Off?

American Home Services Water heater temperatureHave you given any thoughts to changing the temperature settings on your water heater or turning it off entirely when you are not using it? Most people, once the water heater is installed and running, don’t give it another thought – as long as there is hot water for household use and showers, you’re happy. But it’s a good idea, in the Summertime, to turn it down or turn it off – for a couple of reasons.

You really don’t need the water heater to run so much; for one thing, the hotter Summer temperatures outside keeps the water in the pipes warmer. And because the water heater is the second largest user of energy, second to your HVAC system, it can significantly increase your energy bills. And even though water heaters are well insulated, a small amount of heat still will escape when the tank is full of hot water, and although the increase in cost isn’t really a lot, it still adds up, and it’s money you can be saving.

The U. S. Department of Energy has conducted studies that state you can save by turning down the temperature settings by just 10 degrees. You can reduce energy use (about 5%) and save money (about $2) by turning it completely off. That may not seem like much, but it does add up. Just making a minor adjustment to the temperature will save you money and conserve on energy use. And if you’re thinking that you’ll end up using more energy to heat the water back up after it has cooled down, that isn’t really the case, because you are paying to heat the water anyway, whether it’s right before use or by heating it and letting it sit until the next time you use it. It just makes good sense to turn the water heater off when you don’t need the hot water.

Vacation times and business trips, when you are going to be away from home, you should always turn off the water heater, except in winter, when you will need to set the temperature at a high enough degree to keep the pipes from freezing.

Now that you have decided to take our advice and turn down or turn off the water heater, you may be asking yourself – how do I do that? A water heater has an On/Off disconnect switch – just turn it on a half hour before you plan to use the hot water. Then turn it back off after it has heated and before your shower – this is because if you don’t, the water heater will start heating new water to fill the tank, causing escaped heat – remember, you’re trying to avoid this. This can actually be a frustrating process if you’re unfamiliar with doing these types of things, and you may choose to call a professional for help. Your water heater requires service at least once a year anyway, so you can accomplish that at the same time. Additionally, if you don’t want the hassle of turning your water heater on and off manually, you can have an automated timer installed – you will need to weigh the cost of having a timer installed against the small savings on your energy bill.

American Home Service of Lenexa has a crew of professionals who have knowledge and skills to quickly and easily assist you with the water heater temperature in your home. Just call us today for an appointment and we’ll get the job done right.

Phone (913) 322-0724