Consumers often hear about how the technological benefits on newer appliances can lead to energy and utility bill savings. For the most part, we often think that we need to do nothing but sit back and let the appliance take care of the process. One of the areas where that attitude leads to a waste of energy is your water heater. Have you ever though about turning down the water heater before you leave on vacation?
Chances are, you probably haven’t given it a single thought. In recent years, manufacturers have begun to include a water heater vacation setting on their appliances, making it easy for homeowners to save money while they are out of town. Water heaters generally take about 20% of an average home’s energy, so saving money on heating water when you are not around can result in huge savings. That’s why the water heating vacation setting is ideal, especially for those times when you will spend several weeks away from your home.
Placing your water heater on a vacation setting is simple. Newer models have a setting marked as VAC. Turn the dial to this setting immediately before you leave. If you have an older water heater, you can also choose to turn the heater down to the lowest possible setting or even completely off if you prefer, depending on the type of heater you have. If you have an electric model, simply cut the power at the breaker or fuse in the service panel. Don’t turn off your water heater completely in winter if you live in a cold climate as this action can cause pipes to freeze. Upon your return, make sure you switch the setting back to normal and let the heater warm to 120 degrees before using it.
Placing your water heater on vacation mode while you are away has several benefits. It will lower your utility bill and have less of an impact on the environment at the same time. Saving energy is also good for the appliance itself as lowering temperature occasionally will prevent mineral build up and corrosion, prolong life and maximize usage.