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Should I Turn Off My Water Heater in Tampa?


Whether you’re trying to save on your energy bill or cut down on your environmental footprint, you have probably put plenty of thought into the technologies you use. It’s easy to save energy by turning appliances and lights off at the power source, but you might have heard that water heaters need a different strategy. As myth would have it, traditional geysers shed years from their life spans if you turn them off when not in use. Myth and reality rarely mix, though, so let’s look at the facts.

Can Turning Off Your Water Heater Really Save Money?

Water heaters are built to maintain a set temperature around the clock, particularly if they’re insulated with a high-quality jacket. Even the most well-insulated heater suffers some heat loss, though, so insulation isn’t always enough. Water heaters automatically turn off and on to maintain the proper temperature, so they have their own built-in power saving strategy. Your typical water heater still uses up 17% of household power bills despite this. That number is nothing to sniff at. There are a number of different ways to ramp up those power savings. An insulation blanket is your first port of call. Low-flow fixtures are useful as well, but a heat trap configuration is even more powerful. By forcing hot water to flow upwards, it can minimize heat losses significantly. A high-efficiency gas storage tank is another option, but it’s high-maintenance and requires you to change your daily heating habits.

The simplest solution is, of course, to turn your water heater off when not in use, but the rumor mill has been telling people that those habits can’t save you much for years. Let’s look at the numbers: The average water heater uses about $20 in power every month, $2 of which is due to heat loss. Shutting it down for most of the day can save you a respectable sum of money, but you can add to that strategy to turbo-charge your savings. Your tank only needs to reheat when new water flows into it, so turning it off immediately after you shower can drag your utility bills down even more. You can also reduce your energy costs by 5% for every 10% reduction in thermostat setting.

Adding to Your Water Heater’s Life Span

Water heaters are one of the most expensive appliances in the modern home, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to extend their life span. Electric water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years, but you can stretch that number out by reducing their operational time. Insulation around the heater and pipes will prevent condensation while cutting back on operational wear and tear. An expansion tank can reduce backflow and stress to the system. Add anode rods and routine maintenance to the mix, and you’ll enjoy many years of additional service life. Turning off your tank might even reduce galvanic corrosion, thereby extending that life span even more.

When Shut-offs Mean Breakage

If you endure freezing winters, your energy-saving habits might become more expensive than they’re worth. If your water temperature tends to dive below freezing temperatures, you could end up with burst or frozen pipes—an expensive problem to repair. It’s thus best to leave your water heater on during mid-winter and return to power-saving mode only in spring.

Many a DIYer has turned to a shut-down water heater in a bid to reduce power bills, and in this case, there’s plenty of sense behind their habits. With the help of automation, you can even set your appliance to turn off on a schedule. Now all you need to do is find something to spend those power savings on.

Call All American Home Services at 813-486-4038 to see how we can help you with your water heater!

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