Ask Kim - How Do I Save On My Hot Water Heating Costs?

In this episode of Ask Kim we address Kris' question from Marietta, Georgia, who asks for ways to save on her hot water heating costs. As part of our mission to educate our visitors on everything energy related, we launched the Ask Kim series to address specific questions we're asked here at®. If you have a burning question about your energy use and can't seem to find an answer, fill out this form to Ask Kim!

Hi this is Kim with, here to answer your energy savings questions. Today's question comes from Kris in Marietta, Georgia, who asks: "How do I save money on my hot water heating costs?"

Your hot water heater uses a lot of energy. Usually, it's second only to your heating and air conditioning systems. Remember, you use it for showers, cooking, the dishwasher and the washing machine. The hot water heater is also on all the time, so saving energy can save you a lot of money.

Here are some tips to increase your hot water heater's efficiency:

  • Lower the temperature to 120 degrees. Most heaters are preset to 140 degrees. Turning it down to 120 can save you 6 to 10 percent.
  • If you have an older what heater, wrap it with an insulating blanket or jacket. If your hot water heater is warm to the touch, insulation can increase its efficiency. You can pick up one of these for only about $20 at your local hardware store.

If you're thinking about getting a new water heater, here are a couple things to remember:

  • Choose the right size for your household. An 80 gallon tank works well for a 3 or 4 bedroom house, but if you have a smaller home, a 40 gallon tank may be all that you need.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol. Appliances with this certification have met strict Department of Energy guidelines so you know that they'll be more efficient.

For more energy saving tips for your home, visit or send us your energy savings questions. See you next time!

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