With home energy costs rising sharply, many homeowners are actively looking to make changes in their homes to help offset these increases. Since the amount of energy used by the average family to heat water for bathing, cleaning, and laundry can represent a significant portion of each utility bill, finding ways to reduce water heating costs can be a good way to help decrease total energy costs for the household. Homeowners who would like to realize savings on their home's water heating costs should plan to discuss the following questions with a plumbing contractor in their area.
What can be done to improve the efficiency of an existing hot water system?
While inefficient or unreliable hot water heaters should be considered for immediate replacement, homeowners with newer systems may be able to increase water heating efficiency by making a few improvements to their existing systems. For example, homeowners with traditional water heaters that utilize a tank for hot water storage should consider:
- having the water heater cleaned to remove excessive mineral content that can result in poor performance
- having a timer installed so that the water heater only heats during the hours the family typically requires hot water
- having the heating elements and anode rod checked and replaced, if needed
Depending on the overall design of the current hot water heating system, the plumbing contractor may also make suggestions for relocating the water heater to a more central location or installing a supplemental water heater to help reduce the distance from the water heater to the faucet.
Will water quality issues prevent the installation of a tankless water heating system?
Tankless water heaters are a popular alternative to traditional water storage models, but they can pose problems for homeowners who live in areas that have water supplies with high levels of minerals, commonly referred to as hard water. Because tankless water heaters require consistent water pressure in order to function, hard water deposits that reduce the flow of water through the heater can impact the user experience or cause the tankless water heater to stop working.
Homeowners who would like to take install a tankless water heating system will want to work with their plumbing contractor to take steps to reduce or control the level of minerals present in their water supply. Depending on the design of the home's plumbing system, water quality, and requirements for hot water, the plumbing contractor may recommend the installation of a central whole-house water conditioner or smaller scale inhibitor systems that can be located directly ahead of each tankless water heating unit.
Contact a company like All The Time Plumbing to learn more.