New water heaters have a temperature dial called “VAC” for vacation setting. This feature is used when the homeowner is away from home for an extended period and hot water is not needed. When you’re leaving for vacation, simply turn this dial to VAC. In this mode, the temperature will drop the water temperature down to 50°F and will use the most efficient heating mode to conserve energy while the heater is sitting idle. The unit will automatically resume heating one day before the programmed return, so that hot water will be available.

If you don’t have this kind of setting, simply turn down your thermostat to the lowest setting. You can also choose to turn off the water heater completely depending on the type of your water heater. If you have electric water heater, you can simply cut the power at the breaker or fuse in the service panel.

During winter you cannot turn off your furnace completely because of the risk of frozen pipes. What you can do is lower your thermostat not lower than 50 degrees F. Also, turning off the water heater completely may also means to relight the pilot light when you come home. If you do not have trouble in doing that, you can choose to turn off completely.

More Energy Saving Tips

Setting the water heater in “vacation mode” is not the only way of saving. There are several ways to save energy with our water heater. Here are some idea:

  • Set the water heater to 120 degrees F. Lowering to this temperature is more practical and safe. This temperature will produce enough hot water for every household. Though 140 degrees is needed for dishwasher, a water booster can do this job. Today, dishwasher has a built-in temperature booster. Something your household can consider.
  • Do the regular maintenance. Every water heater has a required maintenance to be efficient. Efficient water heater will save energy
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