Water heating accounts for the second largest use of energy in the home. A natural gas water heater is energy efficient and cost effective.
Ways to save
On average, heating water accounts for about 19 percent of most natural gas bills. You can cut hot water costs by increasing your water heater's efficiency and changing a few habits.
Save with your hot water heater
- Keep your hot water at 54°C to save energy and avoid burns.
- Through a HVAC contractor ensure that your water pipes are properly insulated.
Save in your kitchen
- Fix dripping faucets right away—hot water that drips for a month could fill 16 bathtubs (about 3,600 litres).
- Don't run your water continuously while washing dishes by hand.
- Wait until your dishwasher is full and use the energy-saving cycle.
- Open your dishwasher's door to let dishes air dry instead of using the drying cycle.
Save in your bathroom
- Don't leave your hot water running while you shave and turn it down while you shampoo.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
- Take a shower instead of a bath—you'll use far less water.
Tips for buying gas water heaters
Whether you are planning to buy or rent a water heater, your first step is to determine whether your current water heater is a rental. If you are renting your water heater, rental charges may be included in the “Other Companies Section”, 3rd page, of your Enbridge Gas Utility bill. Or, you may receive a separate bill from a company that rents hot water heaters. Contact your provider before purchasing a new water heater to understand any contract terms and conditions.
Purchasing a gas hot water tank
- Ask your dealer for the water heater tank's "first hour rating," which tells you how much hot water the heater will supply during your "peak demand" — in the morning, for example, when most family members use the shower.
- Find a tank size that fits your hot-water needs.
- You may also decide to buy or rent a tankless water heater. These heaters are able to heat water “on demand” and so you will never run out of hot water.
Renting a gas hot water tank
If you want to rent a new natural gas water heater and already have a rental tank, contact your current service provider. You may currently be under contract and subject to cancellation fees.
If you own or rent an electric, oil or propane water heater and would like to switch to a natural gas model, confirm that you already have natural gas service and then contact a HVAC Contractor.
Water heating safety
Follow these tips to keep your family safe and your water heater working efficiently.
- Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions for operating and maintenance procedures.
- Don't let dust, lint or dirt block the air intakes at the bottom of your tank.
- Only use insulation blankets and commercial pipe wraps that are approved for gas water heaters.
Reduce your water temperature
You can save energy and reduce the risk of scalds, by lowering your water heater temperature to 54°C (130°F). But don’t turn your water temperature down too low — the water needs to be at least 50°C (122°F) to prevent the growth of bacteria.
If you're not sure how hot the water in your tank is, here's how to test the temperature:
- Don't use any hot water for several hours.
- Turn on the hot water; let it run for a few minutes, then fill a coffee mug.
- Insert a cooking thermometer into the mug. If the temperature is above 54°C, reduce the water heater temperature.
Important: Leaks get worse over time and can cause serious damage. If you’re experiencing a leak, contact your rental provider or a HVAC contractor for repairs.
Enbridge Gas does not sell, rent or repair water heaters. However, you can consult a registered heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to learn more.
Your water tank is leaking
If you're dealing with a leak right now, follow these steps:
- If you rent your tank, phone your service provider. If you own your tank, contact the manufacturer where you bought it.
- Find the water supply valve and gas valve on your water heater. You will need to shut off both valves to limit water damage and stop gas flow to the burner. Follow your manufacturers guide to find out how.