Wrap your Water Heater and turn it down to 120 degrees!
1. If your water heater is in your garage like ours it can use a lot of gas or electric trying to stay warm. Companies make blankets just to insulate your water heater. Insulating will keep it from working harder saving you on your bill. Make sure and follow the instructions that come with the blanket.
(Was sold out)
So I’m ordering this one:
2. Turn Down your Water Heater. This cuts cost, but also keeps any little fingers in the house from getting burnt.
We haven’t went this far – but you can get a timer for your water heater – Intermatic WH40 Electric Water Heater Timer, Grey
On a side note if you live in a house with pipes under the house and you are in the ‘polar vortex’ – you can also get heated tape to wrap around your pipes. A broken water pipe can be very expensive, not to mention causing a flood that will damage more than just your pipes. If your pipes have any possibility of freezing you can leave them dripping to prevent freezing (Note: increase in water bill warning). An increase in your water bill is better than repairing the pipes and water damage in your house though.
(I’m ordering this!)
This is the heated type – not needed for us but for under the house it would be good – there are different lengths so check (and lots of types):
Two years ago we had our whole stock pile of Mt. Dew freeze in the garage besides the pipe coming out of our water heater! My husband was able to thaw out the pipe and we had caught it quickly so it was a very small section in the garage – surprisingly no pipes broke but we did need to replace two valves shortly after and the items stored near the water heater needed pitched. It had gotten VERY cold that year, so we keep a close eye out now. We also have added a refrigerator to our garage. Another important note – Refrigerators don’t run if it gets too cold around them. My mother has been running a space heater by hers in the garage (remember fire warning though). Be careful what you have near a space heater if you go that route. I keep double checking ours to make sure everything is still staying cold.
I’m linking to this since it has a thermostat, tip control, overheat protection! Double check for safety features as well as energy use when buying a heater.