Water heaters are designed in various standard sizes with different watts. A typical water heater with a 50-gallon tank uses around 4500 watts. The power consumption also depends on the volts the heater is operating on. For instance, 240-volt domestic models consume 4500 watts, while 120-volts use 1125 watts. Note that the maximum watt that you can use safely on 230v 30 amp circuits is 5500.
The cost of energy, i.e., water and electricity, is the biggest concern of every homeowner. If you are looking forward to buying a water heater or have one already, you might want to know how much power it uses. It will definitely depend on your personal usage, how big your family is, and importantly the brand and type of water heater.
Nonetheless, the amount of watts the water heater utilizes is on the device’s label. Once that is known, you will calculate the water heater bill easily.
How Water Heater Influences The Energy Bills
Water heaters are an important unit to have in our homes since it makes it easy to have hot baths and showers during the winter season. Besides, you can wash your hands anytime with temperate water. Nevertheless, this would mean paying more electricity bills as the unit consume a reasonable amount of power. Therefore, understanding how water heaters influence our energy bills may lead to proper methods of reducing heating expenses.
The water heaters are rated by Energy Factor (EF), and more efficient devices would have a higher EF. EF is the measure of the volume of hot water produced daily for each unit of fuel. These devices have an EF range of 0.75 to 0.95. Each device’s energy consumption would vary based on the volume of water accommodated, size of the tank, temperature setting, and whether one has an insulated tank.
Most devices run for 3 hours a day, and those with 4000 watts, will cost around $0.10 per kWh a day. However, if you do not use it cautiously, the cost can skyrocket.
Ways That Can Help Decrease Energy Used Through The Water Heater
Knowing how to manage your hot water supply efficiently can cut your energy cost. Here are the ways you can embrace to cut the cost:
Minimize The Time When Taking Showers
You will use more hot water if you shower for a long time. Although it feels good taking longer in warm baths, it adds to the cost of energy bills. Consider taking short showers unless you are willing to enjoy the luxury and pay the cost that comes with it. Besides, subsidizing the water or switching off when shampooing will also save the cost. It will also be wise to reduce the heater’s temperature as you get to save 3-5% of water heating energy for every 10°F decrease.
Do Laundry With Cold Water
Doing laundry with cold water saves a considerable amount of energy. If you have stained clothes, you can use warm water to wash and use cold ones to rinse.
Operate Your Dishwasher Efficiently
Run the dishwasher with a full load and set off its boosters to save water heating energy. Also, it will save a lot if you opt for shorter washing cycles. It will also help if you consider buying an energy start dishwasher as it works efficiently to save a reasonable amount of energy bills.
Do Not Waste Water By Leaving The Warm Water Running
When cleaning your hands or brushing your teeth, you should not leave the water running to save water heater energy. Leaky faucets should also be repaired on time as small drips can add up and cost you dollars every month.
Mount Heat Traps
Mounting heat traps on the water heater tank can save you up to 15-30 dollars a month. It will be good to call a professional to install to avoid any issues. Luckily, the new models come with heat traps making the heater energy efficient. Thus, you can consider buying a new device currently in the market as they are more energy-efficient.
Insulate The Pipes And Water Tank
Try to insulate several feet of pipes connected to the heater to prevent energy loss as water flow to the taps. The insulated hot water storage tank will also reduce the energy used. It would help if you kept in mind not to insulate the burner section, heater’s thermostat top, bottom, and top. Note that the electric thermostat should not be covered as well.
Use A Timer To Switch It Off When Not In Use
Mounting a timer that can switch off the water heater when not in use saves energy. This will be done automatically once the time is set, saving you the hassle of having to remember switching off when not in use.
Find An Ideal Tank Size For Your Family
You will need a sizeable tank that is large enough to accommodate busy days but not to the extent of heating water that is not needed. For you to calculate the ideal tank size, use the department of energy guidelines. That way, you will estimate the gallons of water you need per hour and therefore buy the ideal model to match your needs.
Will A 5000-Watt Generator Run A Water Heater?
Yes, during a power outage, a generator can be used to run a water heater. Nonetheless, the generator’s total wattage of 5000 watts should not be exceeded as this can cause the circuit breaker to shut off automatically. Note that an electric water heater uses around 4500 watts to start and 3500 watts to continue running. Therefore, the generator should be able to produce such power.
Does A Tankless Water Heater Save Energy?
Yes, the tankless electric heater saves a considerable amount of energy as it heats water on demand. However, the energy saved is dependent on how frequently the heater is used. It can run only for 2 hours compared to the traditional one that runs for at least 3 hours a day since there is no need for heating water when not in need.
Here are the advantages of using a tankless water heater:
Advantages Of Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters save up to 24%-34% of energy for a home that demands 41 gallons of water each day. In a home that uses a lot of water of around 86 gallons daily, the demand water heater saves up to 8%-14% of energy. You can even save more if the tankless system is installed in every hot water outlet.
The demand hot water system can last for up to 20 years. Though the initial cost is high, the maintenance repair cost is low. Due to energy saved, the long time cost saved could offset the high buying price. Besides, the tankless system has parts that can be replaced easily to extend the device lifespan. On the contrary, conventional water heaters go for 10 to 15 years with high maintenance costs.
No Standby Heat Losses
Storage heaters are associated with standby heat losses. This is contrary to the demand water heaters with higher flow rates that help offset standby energy loss. Besides, the water is heated by pilot light heats preventing any energy waste.
Should I Turn Off The Water Heater When Away?
Ideally, it is not recommended to switch off the water heater even when away. However, this leads to unnecessary energy bills even when the hot water is not on demand. It is good to turn the system into vacation mode as this saves energy while keeping the device safe. If your water heater does not have the vacation model, then lower the temperature considerably.
Which Is Cheaper To Run A Gas Or Electric Water Heater?
Heating water accounts for 14%-18% of utility bills in the majority of households. Picking the right type of water heater, whether electric or gas-powered, is therefore important. When it comes to running costs, the gas water heaters are cheaper compared to their electric counterparts.
However, buying the gas heaters tends to be expensive, but the lower operation cost could offset that in the long run. Electric heaters cost between $250 and $500, while gas types cost between $30 and $600. You will then pay $700-$2000 to get the system installed by a professional.
Given the high cost of energy bills, it is reasonable for every homeowner to know the watts that water heaters use. Typically, a standard size water heater of about 50 gallons will consume around 4500 watts. However, the overall cost can be saved by preventing hot water wastage by closing the taps when washing hands or brushing the teeth.
Besides, running a rinsing cycle with cold water is one of the many ways of saving water. If you want to save on operation costs, gas and tankless water heater systems are the best. Consider your hot water demand for storage water heaters to buy an ideal size that won’t lead to waste.