Natural Gas Water Heaters

Natural Gas Water Heaters

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 18% of your utility bill.

There are four ways to cut your water heating bills:

  • use less hot water
  • turn down the thermostat on your water heater
  • insulate your water heater
  • buy a new, more efficient model.

Tips for reducing your water heating bills

  • Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
  • Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.
  • Wash your clothes with cold water
  • Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F to get comfortable hot water for most uses.
  • Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank but be careful not to cover the water heater's top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.
  • Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
  • If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR® model to reduce hot water use.
  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Follow the manufacturer's directions.

Long-Term Savings Tips

  • Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. You can find the ENERGY STAR label on efficient water heaters in the following categories: high efficiency gas non-condensing, gas condensing, electric heat pump, gas tankless, and solar.
  • Consider natural gas on-demand or tankless water heaters, which heat water directly without using a storage tank. Researchers have found energy savings can be up to 30% compared with a standard natural gas storage tank water heater.
Electric Resistance Storage Water Heater
Natural Gas Storage Water Heater
Electric Water Heater0.90 EF
16.5 MMBtu/yr
$387
Gas Water Heater0.59 EF
24.4 MMBtu/yr
$256

Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it's best to start shopping now for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.

Activity
Gallons per Use
Clothes Washer
7
Shower
10
Automatic Dishwasher
6
Kitchen Faucet Flow
2 per minute
Bathroom Faucet Flow
0.05 per minute
Daily Average
64