When trekking through the house and trying to narrow down the culprits to blame for that latest huge power bill, chances are you will skip right over the hot water heater like it's not even there. Even though most homeowners are fully aware that the appliances they have in the house are some of the biggest players in power consumption around the house, the water heater is an easy appliance to disregard. If you have been getting bigger power bills than usual and you are starting to suspect the water heater is the problem, you very well could be right. Check out these three big reasons your hot water heater is driving up your electric bill.
You have the thermostat set higher than it has to be.
Are you a big fan of super hot water? You know the kind that gives you that steamy hot shower and super hot dishwater? Having hot water is great, but having scalding hot water at the flip of a faucet handle is another story. If you have your thermostat set really high on your water heater, you will pay a dear price for that convenience. Even though most hot water heaters come from the factory set at 140 degrees, most households can get by with a setting of 120, according to Energy.gov. Drop down that thermostat setting and you will likely see a noticeable drop in your power consumption annually.
Your hot water heater has bad heating elements.
Most tank hot water heaters have two heating elements that keep the water inside the tanks heated to the temperature you have the water heater set on. If one of these goes bad, one heating element will have to pull double duty to try and keep the water warm. Because the water will fail to make it up to the corresponding thermostat temperature setting, the heating element that is working will just continue to heat constantly, which can drive up your operational costs. If you suspect a heating element is bad, have a plumber take a look.
Your hot water heater is leaking hot water.
If you notice a spike in both your power bill and your water bill, there is a chance that your water heater is leaking hot water. If the tank springs a leak in the holding area that houses the already heated water, the water heater will have to work harder to continually heat up more water added in by the automatic valve. Pay close attention to any signs of water leaks around your water heater and have them tended to right away.
Contact a contractor, like StateWide Mechanical II Inc., for more help.