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Water Heating Costs: Is It Cheaper to Leave Hot Water on All the Time?

7 Jan 2020

Water heating costs seem to be on everyone’s mind as a result of increases in energy prices. This is on top of the fact that news about climate change reminds us that we are using too much energy in our daily lives. Indeed, as a result we want to save energy and get cheaper hot water. Sooner or later, this then leads to the often asked question, ‘Is it cheaper to leave hot water on all the time? Of course we need to answer this question. I think we would all agree that the environment would benefit greatly if we decided to use less energy, but would our pockets? Would cutting down on our water heating costs help to save the planet? Don’t worry, we have the answer. You can continue to enjoy hot showers, protect the environment and still be not to too far out of pocket.

Water Heating Costs

In the first place we have to accept that convenience comes at a cost. That applies whether you have an electric water cylinder or a gas-fired model. Heating the water that serves your home requires energy, as a result you must pay for that energy at some point. You can of course try to save some money, here are a few suggestions that will help you to reduce your water heating bill.

Of course water cylinders, if left alone, will cool without access to constant heat. Therefore it can seem like you should just leave the hot water on all the time rather than setting a timer for it. Is that the case? Actually, it’s not. Here’s what you should know about water heating costs and how in the long run you can make savings.

The Myth Explained

The myth about leaving your hot water on goes something like this. Firstly because the water in your cylinder cools over time when the element or boiler is not working the water in the cylinder will cool. Secondly the lost energy will need to be replaced. As a result it will cost you more to raise the temperature back to what it was. This will increase your costs. You can decrease your costs by just leaving everything on.

The truth of the matter is this: yes, you will use a little more energy initially when getting the water back up to temperature. However, you will use far more energy over the course of time because you’ll be heating the cylinder for hours and hours when no one will be using the hot water. This is just money down the drain, as they say. Finally there is something else to consider. If you keep your water at a high temperature all the time, you will lose more heat to the environment even if the cylinder is well insulated. Your water heating costs will increase in direct proportion to the average temperature of the cylinder over the day. You will end up paying for more energy as a result. And don’t just take our word for it here are money saving tips from the Energy Saving Trust.

Modern Technology

As a consequence a lot of scientific research has gone into modern water heaters. This has been driven partly through government pressure. And partly though companies wanting to develop the best products. The result of this is that modern water cylinders are well-insulated to reduce any loss of energy and to help maintain the proper temperature. Insulation on water cylinders has in fact doubled over the past ten years. This works in your favour, because the water can be held at or very near optimum temperature for many hours. Despite some unavoidable energy loss. This means that you do not have to constantly run the electric elements to maintain the temperature of the water.

Set Your Timer

As you can see, it makes little sense to leave your water heater on all the time. Why pay for the energy required to warm the water while you are asleep, or while the family is out at work and school? Instead, use your timer so that you always have access to plenty of hot water when you need it most. You’ll need it when you shower, and you’ll also need it when you’re cooking and washing up. However, check your appliances as some modern dishwashers, for example, are capable of heating water on their own and don’t need a supply of hot water from your cylinder. If you are planning to use these appliances you don’t have to think about heating up the water.

As soon a you can, it would be worth doing an energy audit to hep you get on top of your water heater costs and general energy consumption. Think of it like this, whenever your timer comes on, your costs begin to go up. If you happen to leave the time on all day, all of a sudden you will have a huge electric bill.

Not Sure?

If you are not entirely sure if you have an efficient cylinder, before you do anything, why not have a look at money save area on our website? Maybe its too old and the insulation is not up to standard. Or, perhaps you now want to consider upgrading your current cylinder. Whatever the case if you think you have a fault, get in touch with us at EasyFlow. 

EasyFlow can send an engineer to you if you’re located in Greater Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool and Chester.

Call us on 0161 941 5571


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