Water is a precious resource and hot water is a necessity in our homes. The cost of heating water can account for around 12% of a family’s utility bill—the biggest chunk after heating and cooling your home. Try these steps to lower that cost:
1. Always wash with cold water.
Did you know that laundry detergent works just as well in cold water, and will save you 40 cents per load? It’s true!
2. Make sure you are washing a full load.
If you do like using hot water for your laundry, use it efficiently by filling the machine and doing fewer loads.
3. Check your hot water pipes for leaks.
Leaks can quickly drain your energy savings. Regularly inspect the pipes in the cabinets under your sinks.
4. Stop that dripping hot water faucet.
Leaky faucets not only increase water bills but also increase gas or electricity use for heating the wasted water.
5. Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
These inexpensive, easy-to-install items are available at home improvement stores. They can significantly reduce your hot water use, without a noticeable difference to you.
6. Turn off your water heater when you leave home for a few days.
Turn it back on when you return home. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
7. Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home each day.
A timer can automatically turn your water heater off when you leave for the day, and then turn it back on when you return home.
8. Take shorter showers.
The average showerhead produces 2.5 gallons of water per minute. By cutting your daily shower time by just 4 minutes, you can save 3,650 gallons of water annually, plus the cost to heat that water.
9. Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
This will help your hot water stay hot, and your cold water stay cold, without additional energy costs.
10. Insulate your old water heater.
An insulation wrap will help your water heater retain heat – making it more efficient.
11. Reduce your water heater temperature.
Lowering the setting from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will save you money while keeping water hot enough for showers and cleaning dishes.
12. Look for the EnergyGuide label.
When purchasing a new water heater, consider a more efficient heater. Even if it is more expensive up front, it could mean significant savings over the life of the unit.
13. Choose the right water heater for your needs.
Know what you are buying. Some water heater options — such as tankless and on-demand water heaters — may promise savings, but end up costing more overall. Tankless models are pricey to install, and on-demand water heaters may actually increase your electric bill.
For expert advice on choosing a new water heater, or saving money with the one you have, call IAQ. We are always available to answer your questions and help you make the best choice for your home. Contact us today!