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Will appliance upgrades really save you money?


Energy-efficient appliances are all the rage these days, and who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? If you’re on the fence about making the decision to upgrade, here’s some information that could help.

Let’s start with your water heater. It’s something you may not give much thought to, but it’s the second largest energy expense in your home. If you’re not ready to upgrade, some simple maintenance could help you save big on your energy bill.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater to around 120 degrees. If only a couple of people live in your home, you could get away with turning it down to 115 degrees.
  • If your water heater is in an unconditioned area or is warm to the touch, consider insulating it with a thermal wrap according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Doing this could save you up to 16% on your annual heating cost.
  • Insulate your hot water heater pipes to reduce heat loss, allowing you to lower the temperature setting. This could save you an additional 4% on your bill.
  • Drain one to two quarts of water from your water tank every three months. This will help remove sediments that impede heat transfer and lower your water heater’s efficiency.
Something else to think about is the age of your water heater. Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years, but experts recommend changing it after seven years. This could be your time to upgrade to an energy-efficient model. There are many options to choose from including tankless and solar powered. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR approved system, could save you more than $100 a year on your bill.

Traditional storage tanks have a cheaper up-front cost, but you’ll pay more in the long run. A tankless water heater not only provides a constant supply of hot water, but also last longer than traditional tanks. Tankless water heaters are extremely energy efficient because they heat water on demand, versus a traditional tank which holds heated water all day. Depending on the amount of hot water you use, you could save at least $100 a year on your electric bill.

A solar-powered water heater uses the energy from the sun to heat your water. It might be a perfect fit if you have solar panels or have considered getting them installed. The energy is transferred from the solar panels to a closed-loop system with a heat-conductive material which heats the water in your tank. In Texas, there’s plenty of sun to go around, but remember you’ll need a backup source of energy like natural gas or electricity for cloudy days. Solar water heaters are eligible for a 22% federal tax credit until December 31, 2021.

Bottom line, do some research before you decide. If you’re ready to make the move to become more energy efficient, BEC can help with its Energy Saver Program. BEC’s energy advisors will review your past electric bills and ­­conduct a complete home energy audit to determine what, if any appliances and fixtures need upgrading or replacing. HVACs, water heaters, pool pumps, windows, doors and more are eligible for zero down, interest-free, on-bill financing, meaning you repay the costs for up to 10 years on your electric bill. Visit BanderaElectric.com/EnergySaver for more information.

Posted: 6/2/2021 4:26:41 PM
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