Hot Water Saving Tips
We are all looking for ways to save on bills this winter. One way to do this is to reduce the amount you spend on heating water. Surprisingly, water heating accounts for around 12% of a family’s utility bill, the biggest chunk after heating and cooling your home. Below is a list of tips you can follow that range from no-cost habits changes to larger investments in appliances, depending upon your budget.
- Use cold water for most laundry loads. Always use cold water for the rinse cycles.
- Use your dishwasher efficiently. Wash only full loads and choose shorter wash cycles.
- Take short showers instead of baths. An occasional hot bath is a nice luxury, but for daily bathing stick with a short shower. If you can stand it, try turning off the water while soaping up, shampooing, or shaving.
- Reduce your time in the shower. People tend to take longer showers to warm up in the winter. Try keeping the bathroom door shut tightly (keeps the bathroom air warmer) and just run the fan to take care of the steam. Also keep a big towel and warm fluffy robe nearby!
- Don’t let the water run. Don’t leave the water running while brushing teeth or doing the dishes. These extra minutes add up to a lot of wasted water. It only takes a second to shut it off.
- Fix leaks. A single dripping faucet can add up to 300 or more gallons of water per month. That’s a big chunk on your water bill!
- Insulate your hot-water storage tank. For electric tanks, be careful not to cover the thermostat, and for natural gas or oil hot water storage tanks, be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.
- Insulate the first few feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
- Consider upgrading your clothes washer or dishwasher. You can save a significant amount by replacing older appliances with newer EnergyStar rated appliances.
- Consider purchasing a new water heater. Don’t limit yourself to just the conventional storage water heaters. Check out other energy efficient options that might work for you, such as tankless water heaters.