Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or just looking to save some extra cash, you’re likely thinking about the appliances in your home. We know you’ve heard that unplugging things can help you save — but does turning the water heater off save money? According to our research, the answer is yes — but if you're looking for a way to save money on water, there are a few things you need to know first.
On one hand, if you live in an area with a colder climate and are leaving your home for an extended period of time, it may not be worth it to risk turning off your water heater. Since water heaters maintain the temperature of the water in the tank, if the temperature is cold and the water isn’t being heated, your water pipes could becomes frozen and worse — burst. However, if you know you’re only leaving your home for a short period of time, shutting off your water heater is totally safe.
With that being said, the folks over at WireMasters Electric do recommend that everyone turn their water heaters off once in a while. It can help you save money and energy in the long run when it’s for a brief enough period to not cause damage to your plumbing. If you have a gas water heater, simply close off the gas valve attached to the unit. If you have an electric water heater, there should be an on/off switch on the front of the unit.
So, exactly how much money do you save by turning off the water heater? According to WireMasters Electric, a small amount of heat escapes while the unit is turned on, even in the most well-insulated water heaters. This loss of heat equates to more lost money on your electric or gas bill. By turning off the water heater, you could save between three and five percent on your bill each month.
Another option is to make a small-but-worthy investment in a water heater timer. A timer allows you to control when the unit is heating water according to your needs, that way it isn't running and expending unecessary energy when you're not home. Water heater timers are typically inexpensive, and you can find them at your local home improvement store or online, like this one from Intermatic ($58.31, Amazon) — a small price to pay to save money in the long run!
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