The hidden appliance in your home: the water heater
Water heating is the second largest energy expense in most households, accounting for around 12 percent of your power bill.
Let’s be real. Water heaters aren’t the types of things we ogle over on Pinterest. But when yours goes kaput, a new water heater quickly becomes your most coveted major appliance. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new model to save energy, save money, and help protect the environment.
Electric vs. Natural Gas. Which is right for your home?
- Cost of installation: With a gas water heater, you must vent the exhaust through an opening called a flu. That means you must install PVC tubing through your home and out your roof. With an electric water heater, you just install a special outlet or bare wiring. No one has to saw holes into your roof!
- Space requirements: Gas water heaters need at least 6-18″ of ventilation around all sides and top, which means you can’t just install the tank in a small closet or crawlspace. An electric tank can be confined in spaces without fear of gas buildup or an explosion.
- Life expectancy: Because electric water heaters use fewer parts, and subject those parts to less direct heat, they can last years beyond the lifespan of a gas water heater.
- Cost of purchase: Electric water heaters cost less than gas heaters of the same size…period.
Other tips to save:
- With a low-flow shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead.
- Wrap your water heater and pipes with insulation. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safety.
- Lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees.
Where does my hot water go?
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