Water Heating Tips

Water Heating Tips

Don't Pour Money Down the Drain

Tap into energy efficiency with sizzling ideas for water heaters.
Not only is water one of our greatest natural resources, it’s also one of your best untapped ways for saving energy. No matter the season, DTE Energy can help improve your home’s water efficiency with ideas for water heaters, bathrooms, kitchens, pools and more.

Source of tips: EnergyStar.gov.
Water Heater

Purchasing ENERGY STAR® Water Heaters
Water heaters are the second highest source of energy usage in the home. ENERGY STAR®-certified water heaters can use 50% less energy than equipment that meets the minimum federal standard.

Choosing an ENERGY STAR®-certified high efficiency electric storage water heater, known as a heat pump water heater (HPWH), instead of a standard model can save a family of four over $3,500 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the water heater.

Choosing an ENERGY STAR®-certified gas storage water heater instead of a standard model can save a family of four about $25 per year. If all residential gas storage water heaters less than 55 gallons sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR®-certified, the energy cost savings would grow to $970 million each year and nearly 8 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from 750 thousand vehicles.

Check out our DTE Rebate Program to learn how you can get money back for buying a new thermostat.

Setting Temperature
Heating water can account for 15% to 20% of your utility bill. Most water heaters are set higher than necessary. Lower your water heater setting to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy and money.* For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit reduction in temperature, you can save from 3% to 5% on your water heating costs.

*If you have a suppressed immune system or chronic respiratory disease, get advice from a health professional or keep your hot water tank at 140 degrees Fahrenheit due to the very low risk of promoting legionellae bacteria.

Adding a Water Heater Blanket
If you have an older water heater, adding a water heater blanket will help increase its energy efficiency until you're ready to replace it.

Insulating Pipes
Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

Drain a quart of water from your hot water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Check your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's advice when performing this operation.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®
By heating water only when you need it, ENERGY STAR®-certified tankless water heaters save a family of four more than $95 per year, or $1,800 over the lifetime of the water heater, on gas bills compared to a standard storage model. Gas tankless-models are a great choice for new construction and major remodeling, but are also becoming popular as a replacement for gas storage water heaters.

Checking the Higher Energy Factor Number
Read the Energy Factor (EF) label. This measures a water heater's overall efficiency, the higher the number, the more energy efficient the water heater. The Energy Factor is usually listed beside the Energy Guide label.

Checking the First-Hour Rating Number
Check the First-Hour Rating (FHR). The FHR measures how much hot water the heater will deliver in the first hour of use. The recovery rating indicates a water heater's ability to replenish hot water as it is drawn from the tank. Water is kept hot and ready for use in insulated storage tanks ranging in capacity from 20 to 80 gallons. A significant drawback of these is the standby losses, which is the energy used to keep water hot at all times.

Faucet and Shower

Repairing Leaks
Repair any faucet leaks. A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year and waste up to $35 in electricity or in natural gas. Fixing drips is a cost-effective and easy way to save energy.

Choosing Faucet Aerators
Install an energy-efficient showerhead and faucet aerators to reduce water use.

Choosing a Shower Head
With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (energy efficient) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you 5 gallons of water over a typical bath.


Solar Heating
Use solar power to cut pool heating costs. Most solar pool-heating systems are cost competitive with conventional systems and have very low operating costs. It's actually the most cost-effective use of solar energy.

Using Pool Covers
Covering a pool when it is not in use can reduce your pool's heating costs by as much as 50% to 70%. Pool covers not only decrease pool heating costs, they also can minimize your chemical use by 35% to 60%, conserve water by 30% to 50% and reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and other debris out of the pool. When choosing a cover, look for durability, ease of taking on and off, price, warranty, material transparency, insulation value, storage need and safety.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR® pool pumps
If all pool pumps sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR®-certified, the energy cost savings would grow to about $165 million each year and 3 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emission from nearly 280,000 vehicles.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®
ENERGY STAR®-certified pool pumps will save you over $1,000 throughout its lifetime, pay for themselves in less than two years, run quieter and prolong the life of your pool's filtering system. On average, an ENERGY STAR®-certified pool pump can save you over $300 per year.