Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Curb Energy Consumption

Sep 21, 2015 05:33AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Lifestyle



(Family Features) Water heaters are energy intensive appliances. In fact, they are the second largest energy user in the home, and as they age, they become less efficient, requiring even more energy.

If you don’t know the age of your current water heater, or think it may be reaching the end of its useful life span, it may be time to make a switch, says home improvement expert Danny Lipford, host of “Today’s Homeowner” TV and radio show.

Lipford suggests keeping these factors in mind as you evaluate whether it’s time to make an upgrade.

Waiting until a current water heater fails will likely cost more in the long run. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, the average family spends $400 to $600 each year on water heating costs, and as an older unit ages its efficiency continues to erode. Rising water heating costs year after year could be a sign that it’s time to replace your unit. By switching to a new energy-efficient water heater or a new energy source, you could save hundreds of dollars each year.

Depending on where you live and how often you use your water heater, a tankless water heater could drastically lower your annual water heating costs compared with electric storage tank models, which are working to heat water even when it’s not needed. The energy source also affects your savings potential. For example, in comparison tests with electric units, propane-powered tankless water heaters saved more than $300 annually.

The size and cost of water heaters have increased dramatically. In April of this year, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act went into effect, increasing minimum energy efficiency standards for water heaters in your home. This means manufacturers are required to make more energy-efficient models, which ultimately saves homeowners money. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the latest guidelines will save homeowners $63 billion in home energy costs between now and 2044.

However, these standards also mean tank sizes must increase. Some homes may not have room readily available for an electric storage tank that meets the new standards, which means the installation process could take longer and cost more, while limiting access to hot water for days. Even new water heaters such as heat pump models, which are known for their efficiency, require extra space to operate effectively. Heat pump water heaters require 1,000 cubic feet of space, the equivalent of a 12-by-12-foot room, and operate best in spaces where cooling and noise will not be a problem. Propane tankless models offer greater space flexibility.

Figuring the long-term value on your next water heater is important. Most water heaters should be replaced every 10 to 12 years. To make the right choice for replacement, you should factor in the annual cost of ownership, which is the cost of original equipment, installation and expected annual energy costs divided over the unit’s lifetime.

Both high-efficiency propane storage tank heaters and tankless models deliver lower annual ownership costs than electric or heating oil. At the same time, tankless water heaters also have a much longer life span than storage models – they can last 5 to 10 years longer than storage water heaters.

A water heater upgrade is an opportunity to downgrade your carbon footprint. U.S. Department of Energy data suggests the new manufacturing guidelines implemented this year will prevent as much as 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, about the same as taking 33.8 million vehicles off the road. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient model means you’re helping with that effort.

Compared with standard efficiency electric storage tank models, propane produced two times fewer emissions. The difference amounts to about 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent of driving a car more than 18,000 miles.

Dump Water Heating Costs
The U.S. Department of Energy offers these tips for cutting costs for water heating at home:

  • Moderate your hot water usage. Curb shower time, and use shorter wash cycles when possible.
  • Regulate usage further by using low-flow faucets and showerheads.
  • Buy a more efficient water heater. Tankless models, for example, are up to 34 times more efficient than other models.
  • Consider an alternate power source. Propane-powered tankless water heaters can save more than $300 annually.
  • Manage your hot water usage for dishwashing and laundry appliances by buying Energy Star models.
  • Turn down your water heater’s thermostat.
  • Insulate your water heater tank and pipes according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Don’t let money trickle down the drain. Fix leaks to prevent waste.

Find more information on propane-powered water heaters and the new energy conservation standards at KnowYourWaterHeater.com, where you can also take a short quiz to help figure out whether it’s time to pull the plug on your current water heater.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (woman and child in bathroom, and woman and technician with water heater)

Sponsored by Propane Education & Research Council


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline



Family Features Family Features Lifestyle


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool NOW ENROLLING

    08/21/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool is now enrolling for 2017-2018. We cater to children ages 1-3yrs ...


  • Eclipse Day at EdVenture

    08/21/2017
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    EdVenture will offer a special kids' admission price of $1.00 to all South Carolina children twe...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Join us for a LUNCH & LEARN all about SMALL BUSINESS LOANS! Brought to you by First Citizens B...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool NOW ENROLLING

    08/22/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool is now enrolling for 2017-2018. We cater to children ages 1-3yrs ...


  • A VET TOGETHER

    08/22/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...


  • A Vet Together

    08/22/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...


  • Local Organic Farmers Market

    08/23/2017
    04:00AM — 06:00PM

    Enjoy high quality, locally sourced produce from certified organic farmers. Support these hard-wo...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool NOW ENROLLING

    08/23/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool is now enrolling for 2017-2018. We cater to children ages 1-3yrs ...


  • Barbershop Quartet Concert

    08/23/2017
    05:30PM — 09:00PM

    Come join us for dinner and a Barbershop Quartet Concert with the Award Winning FINDERS KEEPERS!!...


  • CBC Trivia Night

    08/23/2017
    07:00PM

    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    08/23/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool NOW ENROLLING

    08/24/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool is now enrolling for 2017-2018. We cater to children ages 1-3yrs ...


  • TODDLER STORY TIME

    08/24/2017
    10:30AM

    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...


  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    08/24/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool NOW ENROLLING

    08/25/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool is now enrolling for 2017-2018. We cater to children ages 1-3yrs ...


  • BROWN BAG COLORING FOR ADULTS

    08/25/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    • Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. Bring your lunch and color your stress away. We pr...


  • Summer Skate

    08/25/2017
    01:30PM — 04:00PM

    Summer Skate


  • Family Fun Night

    08/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00AM

    Participate in a sample The Little Gym class with parachute and obstacle course. Activities inc...


  • Small Business Saturday

    08/26/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...


  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017

    08/26/2017
    08:00AM

    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...


  • Operation Dress

    08/26/2017
    08:00AM — 03:00PM

    Join us 2 weeks from today at Try-On Day (Saturday, Aug. 26) at Christ Lutheran Church-Charlott...


  • Craft,Health,Vendor Event

    08/26/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Greetings, All Last year I organized a Vendors event to help raise awareness and funds for the W...


  • CPR Certification

    08/26/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Do you need your CPR certification to instruct yoga classes? We will be having an OPEN class for ...


  • The Cannon Y’s 4th Annual Kids Triathlon is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and stay ac...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Solar Eclipse Party

    08/21/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    All ages. Come to the library and experience a once in a lifetime event—The Great American Solar ...


  • Barbershop Quartet Concert

    08/23/2017
    05:30PM — 09:00PM

    Come join us for dinner and a Barbershop Quartet Concert with the Award Winning FINDERS KEEPERS!!...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    08/23/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    08/30/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Renaissance Festival Blood Drive

    09/03/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The American Red Cross and the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival are working together to host ...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    09/06/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Cabarrus County Fair

    09/08/2017
    04:00PM — 11:00PM

    The Cabarrus County Fair features music performances, midway rides, games, food, a petting zoo, a...


Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors