Water Heater

FOR YOUR SAFETY be sure to read the General Gas-Fired Equipment Maintenance Tips for equipment maintenance before attempting to investigate or repair natural gas equipment problems.

AFTER SPACE HEATING your next greatest year-round energy cost is for energy to heat water. You can save annually* using natural gas instead of electricity to operate a water heater.

Have an Annual Check-up

HAVE A HEATING CONTRACTOR (registered with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA)) perform a yearly maintenance check-up of your gas-fired equipment and venting system to ensure efficient, safe operation. Adjustments, cleaning of burners, replacement of parts, repairs, and inspections of venting are jobs for licensed professionals as explained in General Gas-Fired Equipment Maintenance Tips who know the equipment and the codes that must be followed.

BETWEEN ANNUAL CHECK-UPS, HERE ARE SOME TIPS on how to use hot water more efficiently without affecting your comfort, cleanliness or safety:

  • You can save on your water heating bill by insulating at least the first two metres (six feet) of the hot water pipe and the first metre (3 feet) of the cold water pipe that extends from your hot water tank. Insulating the hot water pipe reduces heat loss and insulating the cold water pipe reduces pipe "sweating" in the summer. Many hardware stores have pipe wrap insulation for this purpose. Do not use pipe wrap or any other insulation within 15 centimetres/6 inches of the draft hood or flue exhaust vent at the top of the natural gas water heater.

  • Lower your water heater temperature if it is set at "high" or above 60°C/140°F. You may need a temperature of 60°C/140°F for a dishwasher, but for general household use you should reduce the water temperature to 54°C/130°F.

    Safety Warning: Contact the Union Gas Call Centre or a TSSA registered heating contractor for instructions before attempting to change the thermostat setting!

  • Check your home for dripping taps and fix them right away - usually all it takes is replacing a worn washer. One drip per second could waste 9,600 litres (/2,112 Imperial gallons) of water in a year!

  • Consider installing low-flow showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators on kitchen and bathroom taps. Keep showers short and baths shallow.

  • Do only full loads in a dishwasher and select the energy-saving cycle if your appliance has this option. Let the air do the drying for you - open up the dishwasher door instead of using the drying cycle.

  • When using an automatic clothes washer, use a warm or cold setting for washing and a cold setting for rinsing. Wash only full loads, or adjust the water level control according to the size of your load.

* Actual savings may be less or more depending on actual location and usage. Please contact Union Gas to find out what the savings are in your area.