Your home’s water heating needs account for approximately 12% of your total energy bill. After home heating and cooling, it can be the next biggest portion of your bill. To help you reduce this expense, we created 10 practical tips you can take advantage of right away.
Whether you’re looking for basic habit changes, low-cost fixes, or long-term improvements (such as a new water heater or energy-efficient appliances), there’s always something you can do to use water more efficiently:
1. Take quick showers. When you need to bathe, take short showers instead of filling up the tub. You’ll save plenty of water this way. To save even more, you could turn off the water while soaping up, lathering in shampoo, or shaving.
2- Reduce your water heater temperature to 120°F. For every ten degrees reduced, you could save 3% to 5% on water heating costs.
3- Turn the faucet off more. Do you allow sink water to run freely while you brush teeth, collect dirty dishes, or try to find the soap? All of those extra seconds add up to a lot of wasted water. Be attentive and turn off the faucet whenever possible.
4- Use cold water for laundry. Even when you use heated water for wash cycles, always use cold water for the rinse cycle. Rinsing in warm water does not make washed clothes any cleaner.
5- Use your dishwasher efficiently. Only run the dishwasher with full loads, choose shorter wash cycles, and activate the booster heater, if one is available.
6- Fix each water leak. Even a faucet 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 wasted water – and wasted money in your budget.
7- Install low-flow fixtures and heat traps. In most instances, a homeowner can easily install a low-volume style showerhead. For heat trap savings, a professional plumber is most likely needed for proper installation. An investment in these solutions could help you save up to 60% on water usage.
8- Insulate your water heater. It’s easy, but be careful not to cover the thermostat on your electric water heater. For natural gas, propane or oil-fired water heaters, be careful not to cover the top, bottom or burner.
9- Add a timer. A timer can turn off your electric water heater at routine times when you don’t really have any need for hot water. The timer can also be used to turn off the electric during peak-demand times when utility rates may be higher.
10- Upgrade appliances. Consider the age of your clotheswasher, dishwasher and water heater. When they are over ten years of age, it’s best to replace them with Energy Star-qualified equipment. You can save $135 annually with a new Energy Star-rated clotheswasher, and save 31% on the energy needed to operate an EnergyStar-rated dishwasher.
For more details on efficient water heating and all your home comfort needs, please call the local experts at UGI Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been helping families enjoy indoor comfort for more than 120 years!