Your water heater... I swear mine decides when IT wants to heat up the water all the way.  Luckily my house is fairly new and I don't have many issues.  However I don't drain any water from the bottom of my tank... I guess there are more things than I thought when it come to the hot water heater!  Check out some more energy saving tips from NorthWestern Energy.

When it comes to your hot water heater here are a few tips to help save you some money!

  • Repair leaky water faucets.
  • Limit showers to five minutes or less.
  • Only use dishwashers, clothes dryers and washing machines when they are full.
  • Install low-flow and faucet aerators and save about 18,250 gallons of heated water per year.
  • Set the temperature of water heaters to 120°F. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of hot water running from a tap.
  • Install an insulating blanket on your hot water heater. Follow installation directions.
  • Hot water pipes in unheated areas should be insulated. If located in a heated area, the first 10-feet of hot water pipe from the water heater tank should be insulated.
  • Choose energy-efficient hot water heaters when purchasing a new one. NorthWestern Energy recommends an energy factor of at least .59 or better for 40-gallon gas or propane heaters. New 40-gallon electric water heaters should have energy factors of at least .91. Larger water heater tanks will have slightly lower energy factors.
  • Turn your gas water heater thermostat to "pilot only" to save energy when you are away for several days. If it is an electric heater, turn it off. Write a note to remind yourself to turn it back on.
  • Drain water from the bottom of the tank at least every three months to avoid sediment accumulation and maintain energy efficiency. To drain the tank, open the drain valve at the tank bottom and allow the water to run until clear (one or two buckets of water usually will do).
  • Use cold water for laundry. Almost all detergents clean clothes effectively in cold water.
  • Skip the dry cycle on the dishwasher when possible. Open the door slightly so dishes dry naturally. This measure can save about one-half the power consumed in a normal cycle.

This article was sponsored by Northwestern Energy. For more great energy saving tips from Northwestern Energy,visit their website and start saving!