I'm finding I use almost no hot water at home (shower at gym, launder in cold; a bit for dishes) and am wondering if I can just turn the hot water tank off, or at least to just pilot, for up to say the next six months in order to reduce natural gas heating costs (which I should have been doing already for two months, but this only recently occurred to me). If I need some hot water for greasier dishes, I will microwave a large mug of water.
- The house is a rental. I don't want to harm any equipment.
- Where I live (Northeast U.S.), temperatures can and do get well below freezing from Nov--April.
- The tank is located in the basement, which is heated somewhat.
- I may be gone for some weeks during the winter. (A friend can check in). During this time I want to turn the thermostat down as much as I can (50F? lower?), and was going to cut the main water coming into the house to prevent pipes from freezing.
- The tank is gas heated, has a "vacation" setting, as well as a button to light the pilot. I can get the make and model if necessary.
The goal is to save as much as I can on natural gas while still being safe for myself and the house (if a bit unusual in my choice). Thoughts?