4 Signs Your Water Heater Isn’t Operating Efficiently
The average water heater only runs three hours a day, but if your system isn’t efficient, it can end up running all day long. This can waste a lot of energy and result in sky-high heating bills for you. If you want to avoid all the downsides of an inefficient water heater, keep an eye out for these signs.
Increasing Energy Bills
Start by taking a look at your energy bills. This can be a very easy way of telling whether your system is operating as efficiently as it usually is. There are always some minor fluctuations due to things like outdoor temperatures or the number of baths you took in a month. However, if there’s a sudden spike in your energy bills, your water heater might be the culprit.
Inefficiency causes higher water heater bills because an inefficient water heater has to run longer to produce the same amount of heat. For example, if your tank is improperly insulated, you might end up paying more each winter because your system is constantly losing heat. Overall, an inefficient water heater can cost you an extra $50 to $200 per year.
Unexpectedly Cold Water
Of course, it’s common to end up with a little bit of cold water if you try to do something like take six hot showers in a row while washing clothes and running a dishwasher. However, if you are constantly getting cold water after normal amounts of use, it might be a sign your system is working inefficiently. When your heater is inefficient, it takes longer to add more hot water to the tank. This makes it more and more likely that you’ll be unpleasantly surprised by cold water.
Just keep in mind that this can also be a sign your water heater is improperly sized. The typical rule of thumb is that a family of four needs a 50-gallon tank. Check to see if your heater is the right size for your family. If it is but you still get cold water all the time, the tank might just be inefficient.
Low UEF Rating
Another way to check efficiency is by looking at your water heater tank. Every water heater model is carefully tested when it is first produced. Manufacturers measure the heater to see how much energy it uses in a typical heating season and include this information with the project. You can typically find your efficiency ratings by looking at the user manual or the sticker on the side of the tank.
The main rating you want to look for is the UEF rating. This stands for Uniform Energy Factor, and it calculates how much energy the water heater wastes. Higher UEF water heater efficiency ratings are always better. Generally, anything under 0.65 is a low-efficiency heater. If your heater has a lower rating, you are spending a lot of extra money just to operate it each month.
An unfortunate reality is that water heater efficiency tends to decline with age. This is partially just due to the fact that older heaters were made before advancements in efficiency. Even a brand new system from six years ago is not as efficient as new, high-efficiency water heater models.
Each year that you own your tank, expect efficiency to go down a little. The wear and tear makes it gradually harder for your system to heat water. And if your tank has some small issues that need repairs, efficiency will drastically decline. Typically, a heater that is more than ten years old will be quite inefficient.
If you want the most efficient water heater possible, turn to Price’s Plumbing. Our team of professionals can inspect your system and recommend techniques for improving efficiency. We also help people in the Camden region with a variety of other heating, cooling, and plumbing services. Find out more about how we can assist you by calling 856-325-9719 or filling out our contact form.