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Iowa State University Extension

Extension’s energy tip: Keep your energy bill out of hot water

water faucet

Water heating can be expensive, but there are a number of ways to lower your costs. One way is to use less water. Repair leaky faucets immediately and use low-flow showerheads. (A family of four, with each person showering for five minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; you can cut that amount in half by using low-flow aerating showerheads.) Insulate your hot-water storage tank and pipes, and drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with higher temperature settings than are necessary. When buying a new water heater, compare EnergyGuide labels to find an energy-efficient model. Check out Water Heating for more tips. This tip is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Energy and ISU Extension.

This article appeared in December 2008 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter