Talk to your landlord about upgrading to an efficient water heater

Why? If your landlord is in the market to replace your water heater, ask him or her to consider the energy efficiency of the system. Water heaters typically have a 10- to 15-year life expectancy, and today's ENERGY STAR® certified heat pump water heaters are much more efficient than conventional electric water heaters. Demand (tankless) water heaters are also a great option to reduce your water heating costs.
Benefits to your landlord:

An efficient water heater has a variety of benefits for your landlord:

  • Make the rental a more efficient and cost-effective place to live for current and future tenants.

  • Provide greater reliability and lower maintenance costs. By proactively replacing your old water heater, your landlord can avoid instances of leaking or flooding.

  • An energy-efficient water heater can serve as an attractive selling point.

Step by step:

  1. Ask your landlord about the efficiency and age of your current water heater.

  2. If your water heater needs to be replaced, there are two things you can ask them to keep in mind in choosing a new water heater:

    • The efficiency ratings. These include the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) and First Hour Rating (FHR). A higher UEF indicates a more efficient water heater. FHR is the amount of hot water a water heater can supply in an hour if it starts with a full tank of hot water. Visit the ENERGY STAR website for more detailed guidance.

    • The right size for your home. A water heater with a high FHR may use more energy, so be sure to balance your household's hot water needs with your energy budget. The U.S. Department of Energy offers a worksheet to help you find the right water heater size based on your water use habits.

  3. Ask your landlord to have a reputable contractor install your system.

Actions you can take now:

Landlord not ready to upgrade your water heater? Try these quick actions to use your water heater more efficiently:

  • Keep your water heater warm. By adding insulation to the water heater, you can reduce your water heating costs and save energy.

  • Lower your water heater temperature. For every 10°F you lower the temperature of your water heater, you can save 5% on water heating costs.

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