Saving Electricity in the Winter

Q: I would like a information on what I can do to save money on electricity during the winter. I live in a condo and face the south east. I get lots of sun, therefore heat during the day. I asked a contractor about wrapping my water, heater he said that my heater is so new it is already insulated enough. Does it really save to turn off the water heater? Won't it just have that much more work to do when i turn it back on?
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Thank you,
Sandy

A: Sandy,

There are a lot of easy ways to save on electricity during the winter. Here are just a few related to hot water and hot water heaters:

Even if your hot water heater is new, insulating your water heater and pipes keeps heat from escaping and the project will easily pay for itself in less than a year.

Don't shut off your hot water heater. Turn down the temperature dial instead. You'll be surprised how low you can set the dial and still have plenty of hot water for your needs (try 115° to 125°).

Check "time of day rates" if your hot water heater is electric. This involves having your water heater come on only during "off-peak" times, but at a lower rate. Check with your utility company to see if they offer this plan.

Turn your water heater down to the lowest setting if you will be gone for a couple of days.

Use foam wrap to insulate hot water pipes throughout your house. Keep it three inches away from heater draft hoods and exhaust vents.

Install low flow aerators on faucets and install water saving showerheads. Fix leaky faucets.

Take showers instead of baths-they use less water.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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September 15, 20050 found this helpful

I would just recommend turning the water heater down if you will be gone for an extended period of time, but otherwise, on a daily basis, I would not suggest that you turn your water heater off. It will expend much more energy to reheat the water than if you just leave it on all the time. I would open all blinds in the morning and get the natural heat from the sun in the house, and then when the sun moves overhead and is not coming in the windows, close all the blinds and keep as much heat as possible in.

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September 29, 20050 found this helpful

I have a water heater timer and it's saves me about $30 a month. Now my electric rates are high so you might not get the same result, but it does make a difference. Even my electric company suggests the timer. I have a good insulation (and my heater is small) so I put it on for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.(and I'm alone) Even 6 hours after it been turned off I still have hot water. The only time I need more is when I do heavy laundry, no big deal, just turn it back on.

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November 17, 20050 found this helpful

Hello. This is a question related to saving on home heating bills. I live in a single family home with a basement and reside in Maryland. My new wife seems to believe that turning off our gas heating thermostat during the day while we are at work saves money. We'd come back and turn on the heat again but this takes time to reheat the whole home. And as the temp's get colder, is this a good idea to save money? Before I got married I have never turned off the heat during the winter days fearing this would freeze my pipes. Who is correct in this case? Thanks!

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