Cut Down On Hot Water Use These 4 Ways And Save $$
Your water heater typically accounts for about 18 to 20 percent of your energy bills each month – which probably isn’t that surprising considering that you need to heat water for your showers, baths, dishwasher, washing machine, and faucets.
If you want to keep your water heating bills on the low side of that range, there are four ways to do it:
Use less hot water – By reducing how often – and for how long – you use hot water appliances, you can cut down quite a bit on your bills. The hours add up quickly – here are some typical volumes for common hot water uses:
Clothes washer – 25 gallons
Shower – 10 gallons
Dishwasher – 6 gallons
Kitchen / bathroom faucet (2 gallons / minute)
You can also try installing low-flow faucets and showerheads and repairing leaky faucets quickly to save dozens of gallons every week.
Lower the default temperature on your water heater – Water heaters are factory set for a temperature that could be higher than you need. A setting of 120°F is fine for most uses.
Insulate your water heater’s storage tank – If you have a conventional water heater (one with a storage tank), insulating your tank with a jacket in the cold weather months could save you some money by helping you to avoid heating the same water twice (just be careful not to cover the burner compartment). For more information, follow manufacturer’s instructions or contact us. Also consider insulating at least the first six feet of your hot water pipe as it leaves the water heater.
Consider installing a new, high efficiency water heater – The average lifespan of a conventional water heater is about 10 years; if yours is older than that (or nearing the milestone), consider replacing it (a new high efficiency water heater will pay for itself in a couple of years).
Want to save even more in the long term? Invest in a tankless water heater. They’ll cost more up front (less now…see below!), but they’ll last almost twice as long as a conventional water heater and save you 30 percent or more on water heating costs along the way.