Energy efficient minded homeowners often hire their plumbing contractor to install a water heater timer in the hopes of reducing their utility bill. Yet, is the cost of the timer and labor involved to install it worth the trouble? How much energy and money does timer installation really save? Well, it depends mostly on your lifestyle and the age of your water heater. This post will discuss the basics of water heater timers and if you should consider installing one in the future.
This handy, electronic device connects to your water heater—gas or electric—which allows you to set the times of the day or night when the appliance activates for hot water production and maintenance. Standard water heaters require energy 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to maintain water temperatures inside its storage tank. The question to ask yourself is do you really need access to hot water 24-hours a day? If you answered no, then maybe a water heater timer can reduce your energy consumption and save you a few dollars.
Many homeowners assume that their water heater is active 24-hours a day. If fact, most standard water heaters run approximately 3 hours a day. Some newer, more energy efficient models run even less. A water heater heats water until it reaches a preset temperature on its thermostat. Once the water inside the storage tank reaches this temperature, the appliance deactivates. Afterward, as the temperature of the stored water drops, it reactivates periodically to maintain applicable temperatures.
The drop in temperature is something all standard water heaters suffer and is referred to as standby loss. This refers to the heat loss a water heater storage tank experiences when it is inactive. A good comparison is a thermos full of hot coffee. As the day goes by, the coffee inside the thermos will gradually cool. The difference is water heater storage tanks utilize built in heating elements that activate throughout the day to maintain the water temperature.
Your lifestyle will play the largest role in determining the value of a water heater timer. If you’re out of the house for the majority of the day and when most utility companies charge a premium for their energy, then a water heater timer might be worth the trouble. However, people with erratic schedules that do not include long periods away from home, might find that a water heater time is not suited for their lifestyle.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.