Here are some tips for reducing your energy costs when heating water:

  • Set thermometer to 140 degrees Fahrenheit if you have an automatic dishwasher. Otherwise, set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Reducing from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can save over 18 percent on energy costs.
  • Use the coolest water setting possible for washing clothes and household cleaning.
  • Turn off water heater when you will be away for the weekend unless there is the chance of freezing.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Insulate hot water storage tank and piping. Be sure not to block air vents. This can save $8-$20 per year.
  • Drain a few gallons of water from the tank every six months. This increases the efficiency and life of the water heater by removing sludge from the tank.
  • Use a water heater timer for electric units.
  • Provide annual maintenance, and keep the unit clean.
  • Purchase a new energy-efficient water heater with the proper capacity for your family's needs. If you're in the market for new appliance, always consider an Energy Star qualified product.