Turning on the hot water is not the same as heating it up. Seems a little trippy, right? Even if the hot water is not in use, your water heater is doing its best to keep that water hot for you – a process that uses up energy and adds unnecessarily to your heating bill. One simple solution for this problem is to install water heater timers. These devices allow you to control when the heater operates and help erase a bit of the bloat on your energy bill (translation: they will save you money).
Cost of Heating Water
Unlike heating for the home, which is only needed during cold months, water heaters run all year. Rain or shine, snow or sun, we all take hot showers year-round. In the average home, this amounts to about 18% of energy usage devoted to heating water – the second largest energy use in the home. The percentage can get higher/lower based on factors such as:
- Whether or not your state has peak electric pricing hours
- Number of hot water users in the home
- Showers or baths
- How long a shower lasts, etc.
Heaters work daily to keep water at a high temperature and ready for use whether someone needs hot water or not. Putting this in terms of money, if your heater is a 5500 watts tank, heating costs around $50-60 or more a month.
How Timers Work
Water heater timers are programmable devices that control when a water heater is turned off and on. With this device, your water heater will provide hot water only when its scheduled to do so instead of maintaining hot water throughout the day.
To get the best use out of water heaters and timers, employ one or more of these tips:
- Program the timer to only heat water during peak off-times
- Use less hot water during peak hours
- Insulate water heater (make sure to follow instructions for your type of heater: gas or electric)
- Flush heater every 6 months to prevent buildup of mineral deposits (dirt that sinks to the bottom of the tank, like sand and stones)
Water heater timers are easy to install, will operate with any existing heating system, and provide better control over your hot water energy usage and heating expenses.