Water Heating

Water heating is a major energy cost for everyone. Typical energy usage is 250 therms of natural gas or 3500 kilowatt hours, totalling $200 to $500 annually for a family of three to four people. The best typical gas-storage water heaters are only 64% efficient. Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource and homeowners are wise to increase the efficiency of their water use. Outdoor watering is typically the most consumptive water use and so shade and outdoor water efficiency are the most important water-saving measures. Indoors, toilets and low-flow showerheads are effective water savers. 

2 thoughts on “Water Heating

  1. how can I unsulate my hot water heater for the winter months. I live in a manfactured home and its 15 yrs old. My windows are drafty, and I need to find a low cost solution. I have tried using plastic sheeting but it cannot stick on the inside of the window. The tape unstick and I have to constantly re-stick or put new tape on it.
    I also have a lagre crawl space on both sides of my home which ventilation flows thru Is there a way or should I cover it for the winter. its about 3ft. x 24 inches opening.

    1. You have several different problems, so I’ll reply to each issue separately. I recommend checking out the Mobile Homes Energy Efficiency section of our Energy Saving Tips web portal, and Your Mobile Home in our bookstore. Because building issues are often complicated by the building site and the surrounding environment, I always recommend hiring a local BPI or RESNET professional to inspect your home before making energy-related changes. Ask your utility provider about home energy audit resources.

      1) Where are your water heater and hot water pipes located? If they are 100% inside your home, insulating them won’t be as effective as you might think. If they are in the crawlspace, you should insulate the pipes and tank. You can typically find pipe and tank insulation at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. See page 188-189 of Your Mobile Home for details.

      2) Plastic wrapping your windows is the least expensive option for dealing with window airtightnes issues. If tape is coming loose, try another kind of tape. In my experience, Scotch tape and packing tape work well on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, as long as you clean the surfaces and apply the tape carefully. Getting tape to stick to wood is iffy, regardless of what kind of tape you use. Storm windows are a more permanent option, but also more expensive than plastic wrap. See page 112-114 of Your Mobile Home for details about storm windows.

      3) The crawlspace door issue is a bit more complicated. Without knowing more about the building site, increasing crawlspace airtightness could damage the building, so we need to know more about the building site. In what state and county is your home located? Have you experienced any crawlspace moisture problems in the past? Are you currently storing anything in the crawlspace? Is your home located on high ground, or is it in a low area? If you let me know these details and provide pictures, I may be able to make better recommendations. I also would highly recommend a RESNET or BPI professional home energy audit. A BPI or RESNET inspector will be able to see building site issues that I can’t currently see. Your Mobile Home is another excellent resource for manufactured home owners.

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