Did you know that your home’s water heating needs can account for around 12% of your energy bill? It’s the biggest chunk of your bill after home heating and cooling. To help you reduce this portion of your expenses, we’ve compiled 10 practical tips on how to save energy and reduce your water usage.
Whether you’re looking for no-cost “habit” changes, low-cost fixes, or larger investments in long-term improvements (such as a new water heater or energy-efficient appliances), there’s always something you can do to make your household more efficient:
1- Take short showers instead of baths. For daily bathing, take short showers instead of filling the tub, and you’ll save many gallons of water. To save even more, change your showering habit to turn off the water while soaping up, lathering in shampoo, or shaving.
2- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120°F. For every ten degrees reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3 to 5% on water heating costs.
3- Don’t let the water run. Do you allow the water to run continuously while you brush your teeth, or grab dirty dishes, or even find the soap? All of those extra minutes add up to a lot of wasted water. Turn off the faucet whenever possible while doing these tasks.
4- Use cold water for most laundry loads. Always use cold water for the rinse cycle. Rinsing in warm water does not make washed clothes any cleaner.
5- Use the dishwasher efficiently. Wash only full loads, choose shorter wash cycles and activate the booster heater, if one is available.
6- Fix leaks. A leak of one drip per second can cost over $1.00 per month and waste 8.64 gallons per day, 259 gallons per month and 3,153 gallons of water every year. That’s like letting good money leak out of your wallet.
7- Install low-flow fixtures and heat traps where possible. In most instances, a homeowner can easily install a new low-volume showerhead. A professional plumber is most likely needed to install a heat trap on your water heater. For a small investment in these solutions, you could save 25% to 60% on water usage.
8- Insulate your hot water storage tank. It’s easy to do. Caution: On electric water heaters, be careful not to cover the thermostat. For natural gas, propane or oil-fired water heaters, be careful not to cover the top, bottom or burner.
9- Install a timer. A timer can turn off your electric water heater at night or at routine times when you don’t need hot water. You can also use the timer to turn off the electric during peak-demand times when utility rates may be highest.
10- Upgrade older appliances. Consider the age of your clotheswasher, dishwasher and water heater. It’s best to replace them when they are over ten years of age with Energy Star-qualified equipment. Your family can save $135 per year with a new Energy Star-rated clotheswasher, plus save 31% on the energy needed to operate an EnergyStar-rated dishwasher.
For more information on water heating savings, water conservation, and any home comfort service, please do not hesitate to call the experts at ServiceMark Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been helping families save for more than 60 years!